» Monday, December 13, 2004

David Blunkett

Asked if the Prime Minister shared the Deputy Prime Minister’s view in a radio interview about David Blunkett being seen as "arrogant", the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that David Blunkett had apologised to his Cabinet colleagues and had explained the circumstances surrounding his comments.

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with the Deputy Prime Minister’s views that he "fundamentally disagreed" with the assessments made by David Blunkett, the PMOS said the Prime Minister had made clear his views about his Cabinet colleagues on many occasions. The important thing was that David Blunkett had explained the circumstances regarding his comments, and everyone from time to time had bad days, and had apologised.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought David Blunkett had made a mistake by passing comment on his colleagues, the PMOS repeated that David Blunkett himself had explained about the comments.

Asked if the Prime Minister accepted that the Home Office was "left in a mess" after Jack Straw left, the PMOS referred the journalist to the Prime Minister’s answer at PMQs last week when he said that Jack Straw had achieved many things during his time there.

Asked if it was therefore now acceptable for Cabinet members to "trash" their colleagues, then blame it on a "bad day", the PMOS replied that what was important was to recognise the Home Secretary’s work and all he achieved. In terms of achieving what the country wanted, for example regarding law and order and the fight against crime, that in the end would be what David Blunkett would be judged on. In terms of this week, the Home Secretary was cracking down on knives, anti social behaviour and crime, and these were all issues that people made their judgements on. With regards to the particular comments highlighted recently, David Blunkett has expressed his regret, in particular to his Cabinet colleagues, who have accepted that expression of regret.

Asked if the Budd Report was due this week, the PMOS replied that this was a matter that was entirely up to Sir Alan. The PMOS reminded people that it was important that Sir Alan Budd was given the necessary time to carry out his inquiry, rather than being pressurised.

Asked again about the timing of the Report, the PMOS said he understood the reasons for the questions, but he did not want to put Sir Alan Budd under any undue pressure. The PMOS said if he could help as time progressed then he would, but he was not going to pre-empt the timing of the report in any way.

Asked if the press were just supposed to "sit about" and wait for further information, rather than having a brief beforehand the PMOS replied he thought it was a tendentious way of putting things. If someone was asked to carry out an inquiry, it was better to let them carry it out in a factual way, with sensible questions asked. That was the way to find out the truth properly, rather than writing a soap opera. The PMOS stressed people should exercise patience.

Asked if the Government had effectively wasted the first four years in office by failing to act effectively with regards to crime and immigration, the PMOS replied that in terms of these issues during the first period of office, the Home Office did address them, and were now building on that experience. The important thing was that people would judge the Government on results, not unfortunate remarks.

Asked if the Government accepted David Blunkett’s comments that under Michael Howard crime had been cut, but under Jack Straw, the Home Office was attempting to reduce the increase in crime, the PMOS replied that he was not going to become involved in party comparisons. He said that in terms of this government, overall crime was down, and the numbers of police officers was up. The government should be judged as the government on whether it had built on its experience as a whole.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was "all the fault of Stephen Pollard for cashing in" the PMOS said he was not going to help Mr Pollard promote his book.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. I don’t believe in you at all.

    Comment by Martha Higgins — 15 Dec 2004 on 7:18 pm | Link
  2. I don’t believe in you at all.

    Comment by Martha Higgins — 15 Dec 2004 on 7:19 pm | Link

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


December 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Nov   Jan »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh