John Prescott vocally leapt to Gordon Brown's defence over the recent bullying allegations. But was his own house in order when he was Deputy Prime Minister? It would appear not.
Tory spokesman on Communities and Local Government, Stewart Jackson, this week asked the following parliamentary question:
"How many formal complaints of (a) bullying and (b) harassment were submitted by staff of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister during the period of its existence as a Government department?"
The reply has come back from Communities minister, Barbara Follett:
"According to the information available to us, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received 13 formal complaints of bullying and harassment from its staff during the period of the Department's existence. Bullying and harassment were classified as one issue by that Department.”
Mr Jackson comments:
"This confirms that there was a culture of bullying in John Prescott's department. This is a failure of management, and another sign of how Labour ministers have let down the Civil Service."