By Humphrey Carter
JOHN Prescott yesterday claimed that he and his wife Pauline needed the use of the lavish Dorneywood country house as a bolt hole to escape to in order to relax after they were allegedly hounded out of Majorca by the media last summer. The deputy prime minister made the claim yesterday in interviews to the Guardian and The Independent as he tried to gloss over his decision to bow to growing pressure and give up the use of the Queen Anne country house near Burnham Beeches in Buckingham. “I felt I could get some rest there. The Daily Mail sent photographers to Majorca where I was on holiday last year and I had to cancel my holiday after two days because I was completely surrounded,” Prescott complained yesterday. “If you're on strike you can't intimidate anyone inside a house, but you can if a pack of photographers decides to do so,” he added.
Prescott and his wife flew into Majorca last August for a break at a friend's luxury duplex apartment in the Port of Andratx.
He arrived on the island under the media spotlight in the UK, which was still gripped by the aftermath of the London bombings, and was soon the focus of local and British media attention. During the 48 hours, the Prescotts did not leave the apartment during their stay although Pauline spent most of the time sunning herself on the exclusive roof-top sun terrace. It is understood that an angry Prescott stormed off the island in the early hours of his third day in Andratx to return to London and run the country in Tony Blair's absence. It was not Prescott's first visit to the island and the Socialist politician is a frequent diner at one of the best sea food and fish restaurant in the quaint fishing port of Sant Elmo. Majorca was also a very popular summer holiday destination for the former Education and Home Secretary David Blunkett who came to the north east of the island for the best part of a decade with his children. However, as his affair with Kimberly Quinn blossomed he chose to whisk her off to more intimate destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean, away from the media gaze.

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