Jowell Says She Discussed Number of Casinos With Prescott

John Prescott sinks deeper in controversy after Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell revealed that he was indeed involved in decisions regarding super casinos.

Jowell said in a statement that she recalls having talks with Prescott at the end of 2004 on the number of casino sites that should be approved.

Jowell gave the statement as evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee, saying: "If I cast back, I can certainly recall conversations with the DPM about the number of regional casinos".

Prescott has previously "categorically denied" having had any hand in the casino decision-making process. The deputy prime minister has been under heavy criticism and has been the subject of a parliamentary investigation regarding his close association with Philip Anschutz, owner of the Millennium Dome and super casino bidder.

Prescott was recently reprimanded by the standards watchdog for staying at the ranch of Anschutz and failing to declare it officially. He was also given a cowboy outfit by Anschutz, which he said he did not intend to keep.

A spokesman for Prescott however, denied any wrongdoing and added that there was only a single, brief and "entirely legitimate" discussion about casinos' potential. He insisted that numbers and locations for the casinos were not mentioned.