Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott handed out free pasties today in protest at the controversial “pasty tax”.

Dozens of people clambered for free sausage rolls, pasties and pizzas outside Gregg’s in North Street, Brighton, as Mr Prescott handed them out dressed as a baker.

He attacked Ben Duncan, Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet member, for tweeting on Thursday night: “Who gives a f*** about pasties?”

Coun Duncan later apologised after discovering Forfars Bakery, which has a shop in his Queen’s Park ward, would lose £250,000 a year because of 20% VAT that has been added to hot food.

Mr Prescott said: “I expect outrageous comments from the Greens. But this is beyond belief.

“This company is going to lose £250,000 a year and more lost jobs.

“I do think people are really annoyed about this tax. They cut tax for millionaires and put it on pasties.

“It is fundamentally wrong.

“The Government is out of touch. They changed their stance on petrol within three days. We can do it with the Brighton Pasty Campaign.”

Mr Prescott was in Brighton today to visit the American Express Community Stadium for the Brighton and Hove Albion match against Middlesbrough.

Mr Prescott approved planning permission for the stadium in 2005 following a long campaign by fans.

However, the decision was later challenged by Lewes District Council who said the stadium would be an “assault on the countryside”.

It was eventually given the full green-light in 2007.

Mr Prescott told The Argus: “I am looking forward to seeing Brighton’s stadium.

“I have only seen it half done.

“The last time The Argus got me involved in a campaign was during the planning for the Amex.

“The man Norman Baker later accused me of being almost bribed by Brighton football people with a sumptuous meal (at Withdean Stadium). All I got that day was a steak and kidney pie. You nearly lost the ground for steak and kidney pies.”