LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — An angry Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has vehemently denied British media reports of wrongdoing over the Millennium Dome’s bid to become the country’s first supercasino.
Prescott has adamantly refused to resign his post after coming under fire for not declaring on the Commons’ register of members’ interests his seven visits to the ranch of Philip Anschutz, whose Anschutz Entertainment Group owns the Millennium Dome.
The deputy prime minister did relent and register the visits with the Commons, but the heat has not lessened, with both Conservatives and Liberals still demanding an investigation into the matter. The Committee on Standards in Public Life, a Parliamentary watchdog organization, has complied, launching a full investigation into the allegations.
Prescott continues to assert that the meetings with Mr. Anschutz were not a conflict of interest and will not lead to his resignation.
“I’ll get on with my job, and people must judge me on what I’m doing. I’m not leaving it, I’m getting on with it,” he told the BBC.
Documents released to the public show that AEG considered the development of a casino at the troubled Millennium Dome a “key plank” of their business plan. The documents revealed an official at Prescott’s department had noted that AEG “had worked up its business plan and a casino was now a central feature,” but Prescott denies any involvement in the discussion during his visits.
“These [documents] reflects a getting together of officials…they didn’t say I was involved, I wasn’t at all,” he said. “It’s quite normal under all government that you can separate the secretary of state from these decisions because they are inevitably talking with people.”
Liberal Democrat spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport, Don Foster, told the news services that he was unmoved by the Deputy Prime Minister’s claims: “We now have a documents that shows not only [Mr. Prescott] asking for detailed information about the development of the policy, but, very worryingly, interest in a particular individual with a particular casino development, and that’s the most damaging thing of all.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers