» Friday, June 29, 2007


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.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


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.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Respect taskforce

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.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


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.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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