John Prescott denies feeling snubbed over Peter Mandelson High Steward of Hull offer
LORD Prescott says he does not feel overlooked after one of his long-time political adversaries was invited to take up a new civic role in Hull.
Fellow Labour peer Lord Mandelson is set to become High Steward of Hull later this year.
Lord Prescott said he was more concerned about not being consulted over the idea of creating the title than his old adversary taking up the post.
"It's a decision for the city council to make and they have obviously made it. I can't do anything about that now.
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"What does worry me, however, is that no one briefed me about what was happening before it was made public.
"I knew they were thinking about bringing this title back but that was about it.
"The media were always going to make a fuss of playing me off against Peter and perhaps I could have helped avoid some of that if I had been told about it beforehand.
"As it is, we are where we are. I'm not upset about not being offered this title, I've got enough jobs and titles to last me another 50 years."
The ancient title is being revived after Hull City Council requested permission from the Queen.
The two politicians made no secret of their mutual dislike for each other while they were Labour MPs.
Lord Mandelson was Labour's director of communications in the mid-1980s and was widely seen as the architect behind the party's re-branding as New Labour ahead of its landslide victory in the 1997 General Election.
But the former Hull East MP once famously likened his cabinet colleague to a crab during a TV interview and they were never close despite their support for Tony Blair.
The pair were also memorably filmed ignoring each other as they stood side-by- side celebrating on the night of the 1997 election.
Lord Prescott said: "It's no secret that Peter and I aren't exactly best pals.
"He's not in the House of Lords very much because he has a lot of outside interests so I don't see him very often.
"I hope he does a job as High Steward but I will continue to speak for Hull in the Lords.
"Part of the problem is that no one seems to know what this new role means.
"I can see the logic of going for someone like Peter because of his connections in Europe but I need a bit of clarity on what it means for me in my role in the Lords."
Lord Prescott said reports he had sent an "irate" letter to city council leader Steve Brady were inaccurate.
He said: "I did send a letter but only to ask for further information about what was going on."
The Mail revealed the move to invite Lord Mandelson to accept the unpaid title earlier this week.