» Tuesday, May 31, 2005

European Constitution

Asked about Monsieur De Villepin's appointment as Prime Minister, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that we would wait for a formal announcement from Paris and then the Prime Minister would respond accordingly. Asked what the Prime Minister had said to President Chirac when they spoke, the PMOS said that it was not our practice to go into the details of conversations, but that they could take it that what the Prime Minister had said yesterday in Italy was a fair guide to his approach. He had suggested that we all needed a period of reflection and that this reflection was not just on the implications of the constitution but also the implications for a wider debate in Europe about the economy and economic reform. This included how we addressed people's practical concerns which may have under lied the way in which they had voted in this instance.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (7)

» Thursday, May 26, 2005

PM Speech on Compensation Culture

Asked if this was the Prime Minister's fiercest criticism of the European Union, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that he had said this before. We had already heard him say in the past that the EU, like the UK, had to do better impact assessments of regulations. It was one of the things that we had been pushing for some time within the EU. It was also one of the things that we would be taking forward during our Presidency. Reforming the way in which you regulate from the EU was part of the economic reform process. This did not call into question your overall support of the EU but it did say you should be more sensitive to the impact of regulation.

In response to the suggestion that we had never heard him criticise the Vitamins and Supplements Director before, the PMOS said that his understanding, without giving chapter and verse, was that he had indicated his view on that before. Asked whether this was before or after Carol Caplin had delivered her petition, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had his own view on this and had held that view before the petition was delivered. His view of that was an illustration of the overall point, as he had said, of course people needed to have information about that area but that information should not be at the expense of people being able to make choices. In the same way that other regulations, either here or in Europe, should not be totally counter productive to what you were trying to achieve.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Teenage Pregnancy

Asked what the Government was doing about teenage pregnancy and whether the Prime Minister was dismayed at the high rates the PMOS said that Beverley Hughes had responded in a very intelligent way at lunchtime to questions about this. What she had said was that first of all we needed to recognise that the figures showed a slight increase and we should not get that out of proportion, though any increase was disturbing. Secondly the Government would not buck its responsibility through the education system in this area and thirdly the evidence suggested that the people who had the most influence on this were parents. This was because it was parents that teenagers felt most comfortable talking to about these issues. Therefore that was where the primary responsibility lied. This was not bucking the Governments responsibility but parents should respect their responsibility too.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (14)


The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) spoke to journalists about the Cabinet meeting that morning. It began with the Cabinet discussing in some detail the Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan last night. The Prime Minister described it as brilliant victory for Liverpool. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey had telephoned to send his congratulations. The Cabinet then went on to discuss the Olympics and Tessa Jowell updated colleagues on where we were and yesterday's meeting with Lord Coe and Ken Livingstone. Tessa Jowell and Dick Caborn would be visiting some 14 countries between them over the next 6 weeks. This gave some idea of the seriousness with which we were taking this. The Prime Minister re-iterated his view of yesterday that the bid team led by Seb Coe and Tessa Jowell had done a fantastic job.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Compensation Culture Speech

The PMOS previewed the Prime Minister's speech this afternoon on Compensation Culture. The Prime Minister would call for:

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Prime Minister’s Travel/G8

Asked why, given the overlap between the Olympic bid announcement and the G8, the G8 had not been put back a few days so that the Prime Minister could attend both fully, the PMOS said that by the time the Prime Minister left Singapore for the G8 summit he would have done all that he could. He would have been on the ground for 48 hours and by that point he would have seen all that the people that he needed to see.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if the "mad dash" by Richard Caborn and Tessa Jowell was an acknowledgement that they still needed to do more to catch the French bid, the PMOS said that it was not a "mad-dash". It was a sensible recognition that we needed to interface with those who would make the decision. There had been many discussions already going on. Both their visits and the Prime Minister's visit to Singapore, were a recognition of two things. Firstly that the bid team had done a really good job. Secondly that we needed to make it clear to everyone concerned, and we would do so, that the Government and the country were fully behind the bid. We would do that in every way possible.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

» Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Olympic Bid

Asked if the Prime Minister was planning to leave the G8 early to go to Singapore, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that it was the other way round. He would go to Singapore first to meet IOC members and then he would travel to the G8 Summit. Singapore would be before the G8. Asked if he would just be there for glad-handing, as he could not stay for the presentation, the PMOS said it was not about glad-handing. We were going for this in a big way and the Prime Minister would be going to reaffirm the Government' s commitment to the bid. As he had said at PMQs he believed that this bid had been done in a very professional way, that Lord Coe and his team had led it in a very professional way. They had demonstrated that technically it was a very good bid and technically we were capable of holding the games. They also had demonstrated that there was real public enthusiasm behind the bid and what the PM would be doing was reaffirming to IOC members the Government's commitment to supporting the bid up to the hilt. He could not be there for the presentation but by that stage his job would be done. The Prime Minister would in fact be in the air when the decision would be announced. As people knew he had to get back for the Gleneagles Summit.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

ID Cards

In response to the suggestion that when the scheme was originally announced in April 2004 terrorism was the first reason given for the plan and that today it was the last of the reasons the PMOS said that he did not think that you actually broke down reasons for supporting a proposal in quite as simplistic a way as was being suggested. Was identity fraud a real issue for individuals in terms of their concerns about protecting their identity? Yes. Was there real concern about using new technology to stop abuse of the NHS and other public services? Yes. Were there concerns and did benefit fraud cost this country £50 million a year? Yes. Was there real concern about they way in which organised crime cost this country and the way in which terrorism could cost this country? Answer: Yes. If you took all those factors together, each equally important, and you put them all together then that made the case about why we believed it was in the individual's security interests and in the country's security interests as a whole to take advantage of new technology that would help you counter each of those factors.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (9)

Olympic Bid

Asked for further details of the Olympic meeting this afternoon, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that the Prime Minister would be underlining his personal commitment to the bid. His view was that hosting the games would be a great honour as well as leaving a positive legacy for London and the UK. His view was that this country could be proud of the bid and of those who have led it. In particular the work of Lord Coe and his team will have shown the IOC not just that London could host the Games but there was a real enthusiasm in this country to do so. That was what today would underline. What we would also see between now and the decision on July 6th was a series of events, some of which involving the Prime Minister to underline that support.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Downing Street Says...

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


May 2005
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Apr   Jun »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh