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Pride's Purge

The former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott has written to the home secretary to complain after a group of long-term unemployed were forced to watch Gary Barlow and Cliff Richard in the rain and had to spend the night sleeping in a royal palace during the diamond jubilee celebrations.

Two of them, Lizzie and William – they did not want to be identified in case they lost their benefits – said they had to camp in Buckingham Palace the night before the pageant. They told the Guardian they had to change into expensive gear in front of several handmaids and servants, had no access to butlers for 3 hours, and had to sit through a dire concert of old has-beens in the pouring rain after enduring a 2-hour boat ride down the Thamesas part of the government’s Work Programme.

One elderly royal on state handouts said she was on…

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