Asked why Manchester had been chosen as the site for the new super casino, the PMOS said that it was that is what the Casino Advisory Panel announcement said. What is important is that we take their independent advice. If you look at their assessment of the areas in terms of deprivation and regeneration their view is that Manchester certainly fulfils the criteria. Asked if the Government expected there to be any legal challenges, the PMOS said it would entirely be a matter for them, we should recognise that if we ask an independent body to reach an honest assessment and it does then we should take note of that honest assessment. What Tessa Jowell has indicated is that the initial impression is that of an honest assessment of the various criteria and therefore let us see where we end up.
Asked if John Prescott had no particular bearing on the fact that one of the largest casinos will be in his constituency, the PMOS said that the recommendations are made by an independent advisory panel and that speaks for itself.
Asked as the Prime Minister had nothing to do with the recommendations what does he think of the choice of Manchester for a super casino, the PMOS said that it was a choice made by an independent panel and I suspect that the Prime Minister was glad that an independent panel had to make these choices rather than him. Asked if he would congratulate Manchester, the PMOS said he would congratulate Manchester on coming out on top but obviously the others all put in very strong bids.
Asked if this was merely a conspiratorial way of sidestepping a political row, the PMOS suggested that the inconvenient fact is that this was an independent panel and anyone who listened to the professor speak found a very cogent argument as to why he reached the conclusion he did.
Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news
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