Prescott escapes homophobic pal probe

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John Prescott has escaped a criminal investigation into his association with US homophobe Philip Anschutz.

Scotland Yard has cleared the Deputy Prime Minister over claims he broke anti corruption laws after staying at the US tycoon’s ranch this summer.

Mr Prescott faced trouble over his meetings with Mr Anschutz, a billionaire who has donated large sums of money to Colorado for Family Values, an organisation with explicit homophobic views.

The main spark for the inquiry centres on Mr Anschutz’s plans to turn the Millennium Dome into a casino.

The Millennium Dome has also been short-listed for the sole government license for a super casino, but Mr Prescott insists he has no involvement in deciding who the franchise goes to.

Mr Anschutz is also a major patron of the Republican Party and funded ‘Amendment 2’, a voter initiated ballot to overturn gay rights in the state of Colorado. He is also a major donor for the Institute for American Values, who campaign against single parent families.

Earlier this year the House of Commons standards committee said Mr Prescott had broken ministerial rules but cleared the minister for not registering a cowboy outfit he received from Mr Anschutz after a stay at his Colorado home.

The report, compiled by Sir Philip Mawer, and read by the committee, said the rules must be tightened.