Labour peer and press reform campaigner Lord Prescott believes “damaging attacks” by the national press were in part responsible for his failure to become the first Humberside police and crime commissioner.
Prescott, an outspoken critic of the press in recent years, lost last week’s election battle to Conservative Matthew Grove.
And in an interview with the Hull Daily Mail, the former deputy Prime Minister suggested the press had contributed to his defeat.
“I had the most damaging attacks by the national press during the campaign,” he said.
“I can't think of another candidate that had the nationals lining up against them. Only one didn't give me a kicking.
"Thank God for the regionals is all I can say.”
Prescott had let the initial stage with 3,842 more first-preference votes than Grove but eventually lost by 2,231 votes when second-preference votes were taken into account.
He told the Mail: "Of course I'm disappointed to lose. I always wanted to win.
"It isn't my first time in defeat, I was beaten for the leadership twice, and that is what a democracy is about – you give people the chance to vote.
"In a normal election, we would have won but, because there were second votes, we didn't.”
Prescott said he would continue to campaign on tighter regulation of the press in the wake of the Leveson inquiry.