» Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tessa Jowell

Asked for the latest on the Cabinet Secretary's study, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said, as he had this morning, that his hunch was that it would not be today. It would take a little while longer though it was ultimately for the Cabinet Secretary to decide that. Sir Gus O'Donnell would reply when he was ready to do so, as was appropriate, and he, as the PMOS, would not be giving a running commentary on what stage the Cabinet Secretary was at. Asked whether Sir Gus O'Donnell would make his response to the Prime Minister or to Theresa May, the PMOS said that Theresa May had written to Sir Gus O'Donnell. Sir Gus O'Donnell needed to establish the facts before he replied to Theresa May. Normal discussions were taking place. The primary focus of those discussions was at a departmental level, but beyond that he would not give an ongoing commentary on progress.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments Off on Tessa Jowell

Tessa Jowell

Asked if Sir Gus O'Donnell had come to any conclusions, and would there be any reply today, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that as he had said yesterday, Sir Gus O'Donnell would reply when he was ready to reply, and that was entirely appropriate. The PMOS said that his hunch was that it would take a bit longer, but is a matter for Sir Gus to decide his own plan. There was always a tension on this, between on the one hand, wanting to reply as soon as possible, and on the other, being sure that all the facts were in order before replying.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments Off on Tessa Jowell

Stop Climate Chaos

Asked if there were any words from today's meeting, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had written an open letter to Stop Climate Chaos where he made two commitments. One: to work towards the stabilisation goal to limit temperature increase internationally. Second: to work with other European leaders to extend the emissions trading scheme beyond 2012.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Deaths of British Soldiers in Iraq

Asked if the Prime Minister was aware of the deaths of two British soldiers in Al-Amarah the PMOS said that sadly once again he was aware of the deaths. He understood that there had been an incident in Al-Amarah this morning in which British troops were killed and a further soldier sustained non-life threatening injuries; that next of kin were being informed and, as he hoped journalists would appreciate, he could not give further details until this process was complete and the incident had been thoroughly investigated.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (4)

St Barts

Asked now that the Treasury and Health had given the go ahead to run London hospital projects whether there were there any comments from Downing Street, the PMOS said that the question had been stated as a matter of fact. He did not know that it was a matter of fact. There was not yet a final decision, but we were in the final process of reaching such a decision. Asked about the Financial Times article suggesting Sir Nigel Crisp was hanging by a thread, the PMOS said that he did not comment on individual civil servants.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (7)


Asked if he had anything further on EU money for the Palestinian Authority, the PMOS replied that discussions were continuing on this issue, that it was a complex issue, in that it was a question of multiple elements of a budget, and that there were multiple uses for that money, but that he welcomed President Abbas's comments that the new Governments should abide by agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority, including the Oslo Peace Agreement. He further stated that this was a matter that the EU would continue to discuss.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Education Bill

Asked why the Secretary of State should retain a veto power on new schools being set up by councils, the PMOS replied that it was at least three weeks since the Government had set out its position on this issue: to make sure that an Authority met the criteria in terms of its work and therefore, that there was not a situation where an Authority that was underperforming was setting up more poorly performing schools. The final decision, however, would be taken by the Schools' Adjudicator.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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