The alleged deputy back-up reserve stand-in Prime Minister has been twinned with Marseille, it was announced today. Hulking northerner John Prescott beat off competition (literally) from Wrexham, Cleethorpes and his home town of Hull to the coveted title in a feebly fought contest.
"We decided Mr Prescott ticked all the right boxes to be twinned with a city the size of Marseille," said David McDavids, chairman of the pointless group that twins towns, "he's big, smelly and he has his own tidal system."
The governing body, which oversees the twinning process, Twinning Towns With Another Town (TTWAT), are no strangers to controversy. Based in Woking, they courted press headlines just last year by twinning Chernobyl with George Bush on the grounds that ‘they are both vacant'. TTWAT's latest decision to award the title of Marseille's twin to the undisputed overweight champion of the world is bound to raise a few eyebrows.
The office of the alleged deputy back-up reserve stand-in Prime Minister, based in Jim's Gym in Camberwell, today gave the following statement from Mr Prescott:
"I am naturally delighted at the news. Marseille is full of people, ripe for punching. Once I've travelled down there in either of my two cars I'll be doing my best to hit as many of the buggers as I can. Have they got any good cheese? I'm famished!"
However, in Marseille itself the citizens were not so warm towards the idea:
"This is bad for Marseille, bad for France," said one resident who didn't want to be identified for fear of reprisals, "they could at least have given us Jonny Vegas - at least he's funny."
Prescott, who's name features as the answer in Trivial Pursuit to the question "who ate all the pies" started out as a merchant tanker, before becoming the MP for his constituency in 1972 after eating his opponent. He greedily gobbled his way through the ranks of the Labour Party, rising to the post of Tony Blair's second in command (God help us all) at the 1997 General Election. His political career has been littered with indiscretions and incidents. In 1998, whilst sunbathing in Spain, Mr Prescott set upon a group of Greenpeace activists who had mistaken him for a distressed Minke whale and were attempting to return him to the sea:
"My natural environment is a chip shop, not the waters of the Atlantic ocean!" said Prescott after the incident.