Britain's former deputy prime minister John Prescott on Wednesday quashed reports that he was to announce his resignation as a lawmaker.
The Hull Daily Mail in northern England said Prescott, 69, would tell a meeting of local Labour Party members on Saturday that he will retire as their representative in the lower chamber of parliament the House of Commons.
Prescott said that the reports were nothing more than "press prattle", and his office offered no comment beyond his brief assessment of the report.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed Labour insider as saying Prescott, who stepped down as Tony Blair's deputy on June 27, has always kept his constituency party up to date with his plans "and this is no different".
"He believes local party members should be told first, not the media," he was quoted as saying.
Prescott, a burly former trade union leader renowned for his mangled syntax, punching an egg-throwing protester during the 2001 election campaign and an affair with his secretary, is one of Britain's longest-serving lawmakers.
He was first elected as member of parliament for Hull East in 1970 and has won 10 successive election campaigns.
Since stepping down as deputy prime minister and deputy leader of the Labour Party, Prescott was appointed a full representative of the British delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The body, established in 1949 and based in Strasbourg, France, promotes human rights and freedoms.
He is also said to be writing his autobiography.
Among his often overlooked political achievements is being one of Britain's main negotiators for the Kyoto Treaty to cut global warming and bridging the divide between Labour's working-class past and modernising present.
The report fuelled rumours that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to call an early election as Prescott is strongly associated with former premier Tony Blair.
Brown has until May 2010 at the latest to call a general election.
He raised the prospect of an early vote soon after becoming Labour leader by appointing a general election co-ordinator, while a leaked internal memo published this month advised an early vote to exploit his strong position.
Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2007, 15:58