John Prescott lifts the lid on Privy Council decorum

Posted On: 
27th September 2015

A question that has hung over Jeremy Corbyn since he became Labour leader is whether he will kiss the Queen’s hand when he is invited to become a Privy councillor.

[Political] Urban legend has it that attendees have to go down on one knee before pressing their lips on her majesty’s hand – an act Corbyn has yet to confirm he will carry out.

Alas, former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott has revealed that the veteran MP will not in fact have to kneel before Liz, but instead hop between chairs.

Yes, hop between chairs.

The Labour grandee also confessed that he was initially perturbed at the thought of greeting the Queen on one knee ahead of his first appearance at the Privy Council.

The idea that Tony Blair would be privy (sorry) to information Prescott himself would not be was enough to overlook his initial reservations, he revealed.

Prezza told the Sunday Politics: “When I was first asked to join the privy Council by John Major I said I didn’t want to do it, he said ‘why’, [I said] because you have to kneel and kiss her hand. I didn’t want to do that, I thought it was a stupid arrangement, I still think it should go.

“But you don’t do that – you hop.  Get into hopping. You hop from one chair to another and brush your lips lightly across her hand. But don’t forget this, they told me when I said ‘no’, you wont get the same information Blair gets. Because they only give information from the Queen’s council on that. That is quite wrong, you can’t refuse a member who is elected simply because of some royal prerogative.”