» Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Asked about the Prime Minister’s meeting with the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering, and if the report on MEPs’ expenses was raised, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) replied that the meeting was still going on when he left for Lobby so had not yet had a read-out of what had been said. The mains items that were expected to be discussed were climate change, development issues, Africa and the Middle East.

Asked that given that the Prime Minister had written to the Speaker of the House of Commons about transparency in Parliament here, what was his view on the report calling for more transparency from MEPs, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister’s general view was that we would always expect that tax payers money was spent correctly and we would support maximum transparency for MEPs pay allowances, just as for MPs. In relation to this particular issue raised, this was an internal European Parliament report which we had not seen.

Put that we had not seen it because they were refusing to publish it, and did the Prime Minister not think that the same principle of transparency should apply to the European Parliament, the PMS replied that without straying into party political territory, there were particular issues relating to Labour MEPs, and it was best to check with the Labour Party on that situation.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be asking the President for a copy of the report, the PMS replied that the meeting had not yet concluded, but the main issues due to be discussed were those already identified.

Asked if the Prime Minister used the opportunity to lobby for Tony Blair’s candidacy, the PMS replied that as we had said many times before, it was still early days.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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