Joan Hammell

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Joan Hammell is a former special adviser to the Labour Party.[1]


Prior to working for Prescott, Hammell spent two years as an aide to Neil Kinnock, two years working for Ann Taylor and eleven with Frank Field.[2] In 1994, she started working for Labour MP John Prescott. Hammell was a special adviser from 1997 to 2001 to Prescott at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), and from June 2005 at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).[3]

May 2001, Caught in the cross-fire

When former amateur boxer Prescott was hit with an egg at close range in Rhyl, he responded with a left jab and Hammell was reportedly "knocked to the ground" in the commotion that ensued. [4]

April 2006, Prescott admits to affair with a civil servant

In 2006, it emerged that civil servant Tracey Temple had been having an affair with Prescott. Temple's memoirs note that Hammell was alarmed by the conduct of Prescott, then Deputy Prime Minister. One entry described an office party: "Joan went off in a huff" and later "Della + Joan had made a comment about watching me and the DPM". The following day's entry noted: "Joan apparently also said that she has seen it all before!"[5]

May 2006, Croquet at Dorneywood

With Prime Minister Tony Blair in the United States for a summit with President George Bush, Prescott was left to run the Government. Photographs published in the press showed him instead playing croquet at "his grace-and-favour residence" Dorneywood. Hammell was amongst the team of players. Hammell said:

We have no reason to hide anything. If he had been away at a theme park that might be different. But we were at Dorneywood. No10 knew where we were. We were able to take all the usual phone calls that we could have taken in Whitehall. A lot has changed since the reshuffle. So we were there building our team. Despite the fact we were out of London, John was still acting as Deputy Prime Minister. John being there on Thursday was no different to Tony Blair being at Chequers.
Dorneywood has been in the hands of the state for 50 years. There have been more Tory Ministers who have used it than Labour Ministers. There was a whole day's worth of meetings. We had a short break out in the garden. I don't know there's anything wrong with that. In fact, the croquet set was given to the house by Kenneth Clarke when he was the resident there. Work continued all the way through, even the croquet game. When I was playing, I had three faxes brought out. I then went back inside to make phone calls. We are working seven days a week, we can promise you.[6]

Contact, Resources, Notes


  1. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p11, accessed 24.09.10
  2. Martin McElwee, "The Great and the Good? The rise of the new class", Centre for Policy Studies, p58, accessed 25.09.10
  3. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p11, accessed 24.09.10
  4. Roland Watson, Tom Baldwin and Philip Webster, "The punch that sent them all spinning", The Times, 18.05.01
  5. Andy McSmith, "'We were lucky we were never caught as we never shut door'", The Independent, 01.05.06, accessed 24.09.10
  6. Simon Walters and Jonathan Oliver, "Prescott working hard - at playing croquet", The Daily Mail, 31.05.06, accessed 24.09.10