Sky News:

"The Mirror says civil service colleagues were shocked by the way Mr Prescott flirted with Ms Temple at work.  They were said to have started the affair at the office Christmas party in 2002 when they danced together almost all night.  A colleague said she had later seen the diary secretary "nuzzle" Mr Prescott’s neck in the lift.  Mr Prescott was reported to have laughed off the incident as a "bit of messing about"."

Poor Pauline.

This morning’s news that John ‘Marlon Brando’ Prescott, 67, had a two year affair with his 43 year-old diary secretary will only add to the gloom descending on Ten Downing Street.  The succession of bad news stories is all too reminiscent  of the Major years when the government appeared to be able to do nothing right as it reached a state of serious decay. 

Yesterday’s opinion poll putting Labour at a 19 year low follows the loans-for-peerages scandal, the NHS debt crisis, the continued unpopularity of the Iraq war and yesterday’s news of one thousand unauthorised prisoner releases.

BBC Online reports that "288 of those were freed after the government became aware of the problem last summer".  This makes Charles Clarke directly responsible for a large part of this scandal.  The Cameron frontbench  – which held back from calling for the resignation of Tessa Jowell – must surely now  call for Charles Clarke to go.  The large-scale release of such dangerous people into the community is a huge failure from a government that constantly lectures others about its commitment to protection of the public over civil liberties.