» Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Prime Minister interview

Asked if the Prime Minister or Jonathan Powell would be interviewed by the police, as was reported in the weekend newspapers, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that as we had said on Saturday night, the story was wrong, and that remained the case. The PMOS said that he was not going to give a running commentary on the investigation.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Peugeot

Asked to comment on the redundancies at Peugeot, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that we recognised that it would be of deep concern to those involved. It was helpful however that there was a timescale, 2007, which would allow some time for people to begin the process of readjustment. As in other similar circumstances the usual agencies West Midlands Development Agency, Jobcentre Plus and others were engaged in the process of providing support and retraining opportunities. For example from the Rover package announced at the time there were now over 4000 back in work and 1300 in the supply chain had been saved.

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

Iran

Put that there had been reports over the weekend that the Prime Minister had told President Bush that if there was any military action against Iran, then the UK would not participate, the PMOS said that he was not aware of the report, therefore he would not comment on any report that he had not read. We had said consistently, as indeed had the White House, that the approach we were trying to take was a diplomatic one. The PMOS said that nobody should be in any doubt at all about the seriousness of the situation that we faced. People only had to read the comments of the Iranian President to realise the dangers that were inherent in this situation. That was why we had taken the matter to the UN, and why we had received a Presidential statement from the UN. The obligation was on Iran to address its international obligations.

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

Police Investigation

Asked if Downing Street had heard from the Met police yet, the PMOS thanked the journalist for the kind inquiry but the answer about interview requests was no. Asked whether there had been any requests for any documents, the PMOS said that the allegation contained in the Sunday Mirror and the News of the World was so specific about the Prime Minister and Jonathan Powell and was so 100% wrong that we had thought it right to correct it.

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

NHS

Asked if the Prime Minister felt that there should be any ceiling or limit on the amount that GPs could earn, and also how long did he think people could "hold their nerve" for with regards to service reform, the PMOS replied that as the BMA made clear this morning, the number of doctors who were earning the sort of money mentioned was very small. The average salary was below £100,000. In principle, what the Prime Minister believed was that the Health Service should be judged on performance, and those working for the NHS, as elsewhere, should be judged on performance. The situation now was that GPs had not only caught up in their pay, which was a traditional problem, and it had resulted in a 68% increase in doctors in training, which was a good thing.  GPs were also offering a much wider range of treatments, which were not only minor injuries etc which hospitals traditionally had to deal with, but it was also about being proactive and taking on a whole new lifestyle agenda. That in turn would result in fewer patients going to hospital.

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

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