» Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Prime Minister

Asked for a reaction to remarks by John Denham that the Government seemed more out of touch with the voters than ever, the PMOS said that it would be entirely wrong for him to comment on John Denham per se, he was entitled to his views. However he would simply say that the Prime Minister had been elected a year ago on a program of reform. That program of reform covered areas such as education, the health service and protecting this country from threats such as terror. On all those matters the Prime Minister believed that he was reflecting the public’s concerns, both to improve public services as well as invest in them and equally to protect this country from terrorist threats. Some people had difficulties with that and the Prime Minister recognised that but he believed that that was what the public wanted.

Put to him that despite what the Prime Minister had said at his press conference it had been the Labour party which had been elected rather than the Prime Minister since we didn’t have a presidential system, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had been the person who was leading the Labour party at the time of the election and the public were well aware of that.

Asked about the Prime Minister’s mandate to serve a full third term, the PMOS said that the on the night he announced he wouldn’t stand for a fourth term the Prime Minister had set out that he would make the necessary arrangements for a transition, therefore people could be in no doubt about his position on that. Put to him that the Prime Minister might serve a full third term with his possible successor serving as Deputy Prime Minister for the last 18 months, the PMOS thanked the journalist for the opportunity to add to the vast amount of speculation on this subject. He would however have to decline. It was important that we should just get on with the normal business of Government.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that it would be helpful for his successor to have some sort of democratic legitimacy, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister believed that normal parliamentary process should be allowed to take place. However, at the moment, his focus was on the here and now.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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