» 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)

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