About the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State
The Rt Hon John Prescott MP
John Prescott was born in Prestatyn, Wales, in 1938. The son of a railway
signalman, he was educated at Ellesmere Port Secondary Modern and at 15
began work as a trainee chef.
In 1963, after working for ten years as a steward in the Merchant Navy, he
gained a diploma in economics and politics at Ruskin College, Oxford, which
specialises in courses for union working people. He later went on to gain a
BSc in economics and
economic history at the University of Hull.
Maritime safety motivated his decision to work as a full-time official for
the National Union of Seamen between 1968 and 1970.
John Prescott was elected Labour Member of Parliament for Hull East in
1970. He was a member of the Council of Europe between 1972 and 1975,
Parliamentary in 1975 and Leader of the Labour Party Delegation to the
European Parliament between 1976 and 1979.
He held a series of Shadow Cabinet posts, dealing with regional affairs,
employment, energy and transport, and in 1994 was elected Deputy Leader of
the Labour Party.
Following the Labour Party's election in May 1997 he was appointed
Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State for Environment,
Transport and the Regions.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created as part of the Cabinet
Office in 2001, and was made a Department in its own right in 2002.
In May 2006 the PM asked John
Prescott to chair a number of major Cabinet Committees and to oversee the
efficient development of Government policy. He also asked him to continue
with his international work particularly with regard to China and Eastern
Europe, and, in recognition of his work in delivering the Kyoto Treaty, to
work with the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for the
Environment on developing the post Kyoto agenda.
In addition to these functions, the Deputy Prime Minister frequently
represents the UK abroad on behalf of the Prime Minister.