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‘Thank God for the regional press’ – Prescott

Former deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott has praised the regional press for its coverage of his failed bid to become the police and crime commissioner for Humberside.

The Labour peer lost out to Tory Matthew Grove by just 2,231 votes in last Thursday’s poll.

Speaking exclusively to the Hull Daily Mail, the Labour peer blamed the national newspapers for his defeat, saying nearly all of them had given him “a kicking.”

He went on to say he would now focus on campaigning on environmental issues and tighter regulation of the press in the wake of the Leveson inquiry, while exempting regional newspapers from criticism.

Lord Prescott said:  “It isn’t my first time in defeat, I was beaten for the leadership twice, and that is what a democracy is about – you give people the chance to vote.

“In a normal election, we would have won but, because there were second votes, we didn’t.

“I had the most damaging attacks by the national press during the campaign. I can’t think of another candidate that had the nationals lining up against them.  Only one didn’t give me a kicking.

“Thank God for the regionals is all I can say.”

Despite the lowest turnout ever recorded nationwide, the PCC election in Humberside saw one of the highest turnouts in the country at almost 20pc.

Said Lord Prescott:  “It shows we were getting our cases across, which didn’t happen nationally.”