Privy Council Secretariat Changes
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that there was a Prime Ministerial Written Ministerial Statement on Privy Council Secretariat changes. He explained that it was a machinery of Government change about their moving to the DCA, as it was thought that they would be better if they were part of an overall department.
Asked if the Government was considering a review of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, as the Attorney General appeared to be unhappy, the PMOS said that this was a matter for the Attorney General. The PMOS said that he was not aware of anything along those lines, but people would be reflecting on the events of the past few days.
Asked for further information about the Prime Minister's answer to Ann Cryer's question today at PMQs about forced marriages, and would there be a Government Bill, the PMOS said that that was what we were working through with the sponsor of the Bill. We needed a bit more time to work it through, but the Prime Minister had set out the clear intention, and why we believed that it was the right thing to do.
House of Lords Reform
Asked how the Prime Minister would vote this afternoon, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister would vote at some point, but that he was sorry to be old fashioned and asked that the journalists waited.
House of Lords Reform
Asked how the Prime Minister would be voting this afternoon, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that he would be deeply old fashioned and let the Prime Minister vote before informing the Lobby.
Junior Doctor Recruitment
Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Lord Hunt on junior doctor recruitment problems, the PMOS replied that the Department had put out their response. The reason we introduced the modernising medical careers structure was because of widely held views that the previous arrangements could be improved upon. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and junior doctor groups were part of those discussions. It had now been agreed that we would review the first round and learn lessons to apply to the second round.
Asylum and Immigration
Asked if the Prime Minister would be happy to use the Home Secretary's phrase that "foreigners were coming to Britain illegitimately to steal benefits and services", the PMOS replied that he had not seen the comments from the Home Secretary so would not comment on them directly. We had made clear that there was a process for assessing those who come to this country, and that process should be, and will be enforced. Equally those who did not abide by that process should leave the country.
Asked that given the amount of information that was now in the public domain, could he tell Lobby when Ruth Turner allegedly had this meeting with Lord Levy, the PMOS replied by quoting the Director of Public Prosecutions Ken McDonald who said on Radio 4 yesterday "It is very undesirable that there should be material broadcast in the press relating to the continuing police inquiry. We are all for openness, but while a police inquiry is going on it is very important that there is not public discussion of developments, and I think we should try to avoid that." This was precisely what we had been doing, and the developments of the past few days underlined that in the interests of everyone, including the media, perhaps we should all listen to what Ken McDonald said.
Asked if the Prime Minister regretted Paul Corrigan's decision to leave, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister valued the fact the Paul Corrigan will still be there for some time.
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