The Prime Minister's Spokesman told the assembled press that as the Prime Minister had said on Wednesday during his first statement, he wanted to invite men and women of goodwill to contribute their energies in a new spirit of public service to make the nation would it could be. The Junior Ministers that would be announced were Sir Alan West who had been appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Home Office, with responsibility for security. Sir Alan had a long and distinguished career, including being Chief of Defence Intelligence and Deputy Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Sir Digby Jones had been appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; he would also be chair of UK Trade and Investments, and as the former Director General of the CBI, he would bring his considerable talents from there to pushing British business. The PMS said that Sir Ara Darzi had been appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Health. Sir Ara Darzi was a world renowned surgeon in the some of the most high-tech areas of surgery, as well as combining this with great experience in leading change in the NHS. He was a former member of the NHS modernisation board, and he had led reviews at Kidderminster Hospital in 2001, Durham and Darlington Healthcare community, Hartlepool and Teeside, and mid-Yorkshire health authority, and he was currently developing the review into the future of the London NHS services. He would work with Alan Johnson in improving patient care, increase the convenience and accessibility of health services, and build a new partnership with NHS and staff and patients. Professor Darzi would be paid three days a week, work four days a week, and would continue to work on Fridays as a surgeon, and would not receive any salary from the NHS. Professor Darzi did have an international private practice, and any income that would be received from that was paid directly to Imperial College to fund research. The PMS confirmed that Shriti Vadera would become Baroness Vadera, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at DFID. Lord John Stevens of Kirkwelpington was to be the Prime Minister's senior advisor on international security issues, Baroness Neuberger would work with the Prime Minister, the Government and the voluntary sector to champion volunteering, and Lord Lester of Herne Hill had agreed to advise the Secretary of State for Justice on aspects on constitutional reform. The PMS went on to say that we were also announcing today the membership of the Business Council. The PMS said that there was some confusion earlier on some of the broadcasts that Sir Alan West had replaced Tony McNulty. For the avoidance of doubt, Tony McNulty would be the Minister of State at the Home Office and his current responsibilities were unchanged; Sir Alan West was not replacing Tony McNulty as was being reported earlier.
Asked if the Prime Minister had woken up in the flat above No10 or had he moved into the flat above No11, the PMS said his understanding was that the Prime Minister had woken up in the flat above No10.
Asked if the Respect task force would be joining the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the PMS confirmed that his understanding was that the unit would be based in the DCSF. He added that the unit would work across a number of departments including the Home Office.
Asked if there were any plans for the Prime Minister to visit affected areas, the PMS replied that there were no plans and that Hilary Benn would be visiting. The PMS added that the Prime Minister was being kept up-to-date by Hilary Benn as the relevant Cabinet Minister.
The Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) began the briefing by informing Lobby of the issues discussed today at Cabinet.
The Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) informed assembled journalists about the recent Cabinet reshuffle. The new Prime Minister was Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer was Alastair Darling, Foreign Secretary was David Miliband. The new Secretary of State for Justice and the Lord Chancellor was Jack Straw, Secretary of State for the Home Department was Jacqui Smith, Secretary State for Defence and Secretary of State for Scotland was Des Browne. Alan Johnson would become Secretary of State for Health and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was now Hilary Benn. Secretary of State for International Development was Douglas Alexander, and Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform was John Hutton. The new Leader of the House, Minister for Women and Labour Party Chair was Harriet Harman, Secretary of State for Pensions and Secretary of State for Wales was Peter Hain, and Secretary of State for Transport had bee given to Ruth Kelly. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was Hazel Blears and the new Chief Whip was Geoff Hoon. Ed Balls had been appointed as Secretary of State for Schools, Children and Families (DCSF), and the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was Ed Miliband. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was James Purnell, and Shaun Woodward was the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council was Baroness Ashton, and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury was Andy Burnham. Secretary of State for Innovation, Unviversities and Skills was John Denham.
Put that the PMS' predecessor had repeated his normal answer of "there was no change" to the question about whether the former Prime Minister had been interviewed by the police, but it now appeared that the Prime Minister had been interviewed a third time three weeks ago, the PMS said that he was not a spokesman for the previous Prime Minister. He had no comment on this.
New Prime Minister
The Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) began the briefing by introducing himself and reaffirmed that future briefings will be on the record. He then talked Lobby through what had been happening at Downing Street since the new Prime Minister arrived earlier this afternoon. The Prime Minister was clapped in by Downing Street staff as was traditional, and had an initial meeting with the Cabinet Secretary. In his first act as Prime Minister he revoked the Orders of Council granting powers to special advisors to give instructions to civil servants. The Prime Minister then had a series of phone calls with foreign leaders. The first call was to President Bush, it was cordial and constructive lasting around 10 minutes, and built on the discussions they had in Washington. The Prime Minister then spoke to President Sarkozy, Bertie Ahern, Chancellor Merkel and Romano Prodi. He had of course been speaking to President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel in recent weeks. The Prime Minister spoke to the two leaders of the main opposition parties David Cameron and Menzies Campbell. The call to David Cameron was courteous and businesslike.
Put to him that the "ex-Prime Minister" referred in PMQs to a troop reduction in Iraq happening in the next few weeks, and asked if there was any more information on that, the PMS replied that there was nothing more that he could add, but this was not a particularly new announcement. Tony Blair was referring to the plan of a gradual draw down that was already underway.
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