Mr. John Maples (Stratford-on-Avon) (Con): I offer my support to the Prime Minister on his decision to relieve the Deputy Prime Minister of departmental responsibilities—it is very good for all of us to see nine years of unremitting incompetence 10 May 2006 : Column 313finally rewarded. However, I want to go further in my support, because the Prime Minister has been criticised for allowing the Deputy Prime Minister to keep his salary and the vast perks of his office. I am with the Prime Minister, however, because the new arrangement is an improvement: he is right that it is better to pay the Deputy Prime Minister for not running a Department than it is to pay him for running one.
The Prime Minister: I remember the hon. Gentleman’s Deputy Prime Minister—after his two years in office, the Tories achieved their worst election victory on record. [Hon. Members: “Oh”] The hon. Gentleman remembers Michael Heseltine, who became Deputy Prime Minister and two years later the Tories had the worst election result in their history. This Deputy Prime Minister has presided over three election victories, so I prefer Prezza to Hezza.
A Victory is still a victory eh tone?