Labour leader describes Prescott as 'unstoppable force'

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has expressed his support for John Prescott's bid to become Labour's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Humberside.

Launching his campaign in Hull, Lord Prescott said: "I feel that after proudly serving as a local MP for 40 years and as a cabinet minister for 10 years, I have the experience to listen to the public and help be their strong voice in supporting the police and holding them to account."

Although he did not formally endorse John Prescott's bid, the Labour leader paid tribute to the former Deputy Prime Minister.

In an interview for the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Ed Miliband said: "As always in these things, we are going to have a vote in the Labour Party as to who the best candidates are for police commissioner.

"But John Prescott is an unstoppable force and I'm sure he'd be a great police commissioner."

'Plenty of fight'

Elections for the new commissioners in 41 police force areas across England and Wales will take place in November, when the current police authorities will be scrapped.

They will have the power to hire and fire chief constables, hold them to account and set the force's budget.

Humberside's Police and Crime Commissioner is expected to earn an annual salary of £75,000.

Reaction to John Prescott's decision to stand for the post was mixed on the streets of Hull.

"He's got plenty of fight in him"...was how one woman reacted to the news.

References to the infamous punch - thrown at an egg-throwing protestor in 2001 - continue to dog the man formally known as Baron Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull.

The Labour nomination for Humberside's Police and Crime Commissioner will also be contested by Colin Inglis, a former leader of Hull City Council, and Keith Hunter, a former chief superintendent with Humberside Police.