The British government has revealed plans to irradiate Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and mutate him into a giant ape creature, as part of its ongoing war on terror. “The extraordinary nature of the threat facing us calls for an extraordinary response – tests have shown that prolonged exposure to radiation is capable of turning Mr Prescott into a huge and hairy semi-human anthropoid,” says Downing Street spokesperson Ned Snapper. “Such a creature is exactly what we need to guard London from terrorist attack – we envisage him standing atop tall buildings swatting down hijacked airliners, or stamping on suicide bombers, their explosives detonating harmlessly beneath his gigantic furry feet!” It is believed that the Prescott plans are a response to threat of foreign terror-monsters recently identified by Britain’s intelligence agencies. “We know for a fact that North Korea already has an advanced programme to breed giant fire-breathing lizards in its nuclear reactors,” says Snapper. “With the amount of radioactive material and deadly chemical agents currently in the hands of ‘outlaw states’ it’s only a matter of time before some evil dictator starts unleashing giant mutated creatures of destruction upon the world!”

Indeed, only last month President Putin was forced to declare a state of emergency in Moscow when the mummified body of Lenin was revived by Chechen terrorists and proceeded to rampage around Moscow, destroying any overt symbols of capitalism it could find. For two days Moscow residents cowered in terror as the green-tinged perambulating founder of Bolshevism overturned foreign cars, wrecked burger bars and Coca-Cola vending machines and tore designer clothes from the backs of any unfortunate Moscow citizens he could catch. “The Russian authorities were very lucky the terrorists only had sufficient radioactive material to revive Lenin, and that they were unable also to mutate him into a giant,” says Ministry of Defence scientist Toby Muffin, an expert on radioactive mutation techniques. “Nevertheless, they were still able to imbue him with super-strength and make him impervious to bullets – the police and army were powerless to stop him and he was only destroyed when he was trapped in a blazing windmill by a horde of peasants wielding flaming torches! Thankfully these mutant monsters usually have a simple weakness such as a vulnerability to fire or electricity!” The Lenin incident has raised fears in the intelligence community that Iran could be planning to use its nuclear reactor programme to revive the late Ayatollah Khomeni. “The kind of nuclear resources possessed by Tehran make the possibility of a giant flesh-eating Islamic fundamentalist wreaking havoc across the Middle-East terrifyingly real,” warns Muffin. “Such a figure would be a natural rallying point for disaffected Muslims everywhere as he literally stamped out any western presence in the region!”

London Mayor and top newt fancier Ken Livingstone is believed to be the man supervising the government’s project to turn John Prescott into a giant ape. A world renowned expert on radioactive mutation techniques – one of his giant newts memorably attacked the ‘London Eye’ in 2000, threatening to wreck it unless he was elected as Mayor – Livingstone is currently believed to be working day and night in a secret laboratory located deep beneath the London Assembly building. “It’s the reason they brought Ken back into the Labour Party,” explains Snapper. So far the mad scientist Mayor has succeeded in transforming Prescott into a twenty foot tall hairy beast for periods of up to six hours. “The mutation is achieved by feeding Mr Prescott irradiated pies and scotch eggs. His size and the duration of the change are dependent upon the number he eats,” enthuses Muffin. “Two scotch eggs and he just goes hairy and bestial for half an hour, but another couple of pies and he’s quickly up to twenty feet tall for the duration!”

The government is hoping that with larger doses of pies, scotch eggs and possibly even radioactive chips, it will possible to get the Deputy Premier up to fifty feet in height and perhaps even imbue him with special powers. “Ideally we’d like him to have something like Godzilla’s radioactive breath, but the best we’ve come up with so far is a belch which can shatter concrete from up to half a mile away and flatulence so toxic it can level forests,” reveals Muffin. “We were thinking that if we could somehow get his exhaust gases to ignite, we’d be moving in the right direction.” However fears have been raised that a fully irradiated Prescott Monster might prove impossible to control and turn against its creators, following a recent incident when the hirsute behemoth escaped from the lab and scaled Big Ben. “I accept that this incident was highly traumatic for London citizens – the sight of a twenty-foot Gorilla sitting atop one our most cherished landmarks, flinging his own crap at passing tourist buses is enough to scare anyone – but I can assure everyone it was completely uncharacteristic,” says Muffin, explaining that the beast’s aberrant behaviour was the result of the lab unexpectedly running out of pies.

Nevertheless, many remain unconvinced by the supposed threat posed by mutated terror-beasts. “There is no hard evidence whatsoever that such programmes actually exist, or have ever existed in any of the countries of concern,” asserts terrorism expert Professor Peter Tench. “Despite all the pre-war propaganda in the western press claiming that Saddam had been dipping people into vats of chemicals to produce monstrous scaly gill-men with which to terrorise the Marsh Arabs, no evidence of such programmes has been found since the invasion of Iraq. Not even a single scale! The truth is that the only countries actively pursuing such programmes are the Western powers!”

Official sources have been quick to react to such criticisms. “Even as we speak Osama bin Laden is doubtless toiling in his secret lab deep beneath the mountains in Afghanistan to perfect giant killer voles to unleash upon London’s underground system! It is vital we are able to respond in kind,” retorts Snapper. “I dare say that on September 11, as they watched those airliners slam into the World Trade Centre, the US government wished it hadn’t abandoned its 1970s programme to produce a gigantic Henry Kissinger when the Vietnam war ended! One sweep of his mighty schlong could have knocked those planes out of the air!” Snapper refused to comment on reports that plans were afoot to irradiate other cabinet members to produce a secret league of political mutants dedicated to preserving the ‘middle way’ and safeguarding middle class values – similar to the X-Men, but crapper. However, he did scotch rumours that Tony Blair’s ability to repel sleaze and smears was an artificially enhanced superpower: “This a merely a natural function of his smarmy smile, lack of ideological conviction and inherent insincerity.”