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Blair told to 'sack' Prescott.

Byline: JAMES HARDY

TONY Blair is under growing pressure from his Cabinet to axe John Prescott over his bungled handling of the firefighters' strike.

Senior ministers are angry at the Deputy PM's failure to bring a swift end to the dispute, and want him booted out in the next Cabinet reshuffle.

One Cabinet member said: "Prescott has become a liability to the party and the Government. He's in his 60s now and ought to go gracefully - but that would go against the grain.

"The truth is he has served his purpose in squaring the unions and signing up Labour grass roots supporters."

Mr Prescott who today publishes the full report of the independent Bain inquiry into firefighters' pay, was widely blamed for blocking a previous deal, after he was overruled by the Treasury and Downing Street.

The fire unions have announced two-day strikes on January 28 and February 1.

CAPTION(S):

PRESSURE: Prescott
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2002
Words:153
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