Deputy PM's no bosom buddy

Jackie Ashley (7 May) criticises John Prescott, writing: "a real deputy prime minister would be closer to Tony Blair". From R A Butler through George Brown and Geoffrey Howe to Michael Heseltine, no deputy has been "close". "We all need a Willie" Whitelaw was influential, but not "close". A deputy prime minister has a title but no proper role - closeness, even if it existed, would not make the role real.

Alan Mumford
London SW18

This article first appeared in We Tories must change, or face eternal oblivion

2001-05-14