John Prescott in police commissioner election row with Andrew Percy
LORD Prescott has urged the Speaker to intervene in a row over an alleged breach of House of Commons protocol in the run-up to the election of a new police and crime commissioner.
Labour's candidate for the role claims Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy "displayed" election material relating to Conservative candidate Matthew Grove during a Parliamentary debate.
Since the debate was televised on BBC Parliament, the former Deputy Prime Minister said it amounted to "free advertising" and ought to be registered as an election expense.
Now, he wants Commons Speaker John Bercow – and possibly also voting watchdog the Electoral Commission – to investigate his complaint.
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Lord Prescott said: "If TV advertising costs £40,000 a minute and he did it for three minutes, then Andrew Percy spent all his candidate's election expenses in one action.
"I want the Speaker to decide whether this was right or wrong, then I'll ask the Electoral Commission to judge whether it counts as television advertising and should to be registered."
Lord Prescott also said a tweet by Mr Grove, which thanked Mr Percy and Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers for their "display" of support, proved it had been "pre-meditated".
But Mr Percy said: "I had lots of election literature in my hands as I sat on the benches waiting to speak in that debate.
"I actually name-checked Lord Prescott two or three times, so if I was advertising anyone, it was him.
"I also doubt many people in the Humber were watching BBC Parliament at 5.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon."
Voters will go to the polls on November 15 to vote for Humberside Police's first commissioner.
For an interview with commissioner candidate Walter Sweeney, turn to pages 8-9