» Tuesday, November 1, 2005

David Blunkett

Asked about the current status of the Ministerial Code, and how should it now be used, and also was the situation purely a "discretion" with regards to the rules people should abide by, in the Prime Minister's view, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Prime Minister was glad that Sir Gus O'Donnell had clarified the situation in terms of the Ministerial Code. The PMOS said that Mr. Blunkett had recognised he had made a mistake in terms of his interpretation of the Code, and he acknowledged that in his statement to the Independent on Sunday newspaper. He traced that to his interpretation, which he had accepted was wrong, of Lord Mayhew's letter on the 15th March 2005, where Lord Mayhew had said that the Code was voluntary. Mr Blunkett accepted that his interpretation of the word "voluntary" turned out to be incorrect. In terms of the "Third Job", as it had become known, it was a result of the same mistake he made with the other two jobs.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

David Blunkett

Put to him that the Prime Minister felt that David Blunkett had broken the Ministerial code but that he didn't think the transgression merited any further action other than to recognise that he had done it, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that we had covered this in our statement yesterday afternoon. The statement set out the sequence of events and set out that the period between David Blunkett leaving government and taking up this post was four months and traditionally the period recommended before ministers took up posts was three months. What was important was that David Blunkett, as he had said, thought he had understood the rules but had not. Therefore that was why he had made a mistake. He had admitted making a mistake and that mistake did not affect the substance of his job. Therefore he should be allowed to get on with his job.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Climate Change

Asked what was the key thing the Prime Minister wanted to achieve from the talks today, the PMOS replied that it was important to recognise what had been achieved since Gleneagles. The EU had already agreed to work with China to capture and store Carbon Dioxide emissions, and these talks were going well. There was new work into efficiency in buildings, appliances and transport, including work with the US, the EU, Russia, China and India and the rest of the +5 Group. There was dialogue with America and China on low Carbon investment strategies, and there was consultation on a World Bank Energy Investment framework which would allow the World Bank to invest in large scale projects such as low Carbon heating systems in Russia, and clean coal facilities in China. We were looking at when key technologies could be deployed, and how it could be made to happen by developing strategies for key sectors such as the automobile industry, or technologies to reach zero Carbon emissions.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Climate Change

Asked what the best possible outcome could be expected from today's G8 dialogue on climate change, the PMOS said that first and foremost this was the follow-up to Gleneagles. The reason for it was because Kyoto did not cover India and China, and as people knew the US didn't agree with it. Yet if you looked at the potential threat to the environment these countries were as much a part of that as anyone else. That was why it was very important that we had the dialogue between the G8, China and India as well as Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. What had already been achieved since Gleneagles was an agreement between EU and China to capture and store Carbon Dioxide emissions. We had already funded new work to look into efficiency in buildings, appliances and transport and we had already begun dialogue with Latin America and China as to how we invested in low carbon strategies. This would be a genuine discussion today but what we were hoping for was agreement on when and how key technologies could be deployed and identifying strategies and roadmaps for key sectors such as the automobile industry and other technologies to reduce emissions. Already in the UK for instance were looking at options such introducing bio-fuels and raising the rate at which bio-fuels were used in petrol.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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