John Prescott has suggested Britain's Queen Elizabeth should abdicate.
The former deputy prime minister has controversially claimed the 86-year-old monarch needs to step down from the throne because he feels she is ''overburdening'' herself after her recent spell of ill-health.
He wrote in his Sunday Mirror newspaper column: ''Last week a straight-talking Yorkie friend asked me what Privy Councillors do. I said we formally advise the Queen.
''His concern was that the Queen, who is 87 next month, is overburdening herself. He said she had done a remarkable job over her 60 years on the throne but was increasingly concerned at recent cancellations of public duties because of her ongoing ill-health.
''So he asked me, as a Privy Councillor, to tell her that he didn't expect her to see out her royal duties as the Queen. She deserves a break and he wouldn't think less of her if she stepped down.''
However, the politician has come under fire for his comments by rival Conservative MPs, who have blasted him for speculating about her abdication and urged him to remember his duties as a member of the Privy Council.
Mark Field said: ''I think it is inappropriate for anyone in politics to speculate on the Monarch's health.
''What is clear is that she is very capable of handling a very big schedule. Under no circumstances will we see the Queen abdicate. It would undermine the very principle of monarchy. She continues to do a fantastic job.''
Meanwhile Conor Burns added: ''John Prescott is the antithesis of the Queen. She is a model of selfless public service and duty. He is frittering away any last vestiges of dignity his career had with these sort of pig-ignorant comments.
''Luckily for Her subjects I'm sure the Queen will ignore his silly advice.''