» Monday, March 30, 2009

Home Secretary

Asked if it was sustainable to have a Home Secretary who had essentially become a laughing stock, the PMS referred to the Prime Minister s words at the press conference this morning where he made clear that the Home Secretary was doing a great job and this issue should not distract from everything she was doing to ensure that we protected the public and kept our neighbourhood safe.

Put that it was beyond the Prime Minister or Home Secretary s control, the PMS said that the Prime Minister thought that the Home Secretary was doing a great job. The Home Secretary and her husband had apologised and repaid the money; this was a personal matter for them and the Home Secretary should be allowed to get on with her job.

Asked if the Home Secretary had offered to resign at any point, the PMS said no, not to his knowledge.

Asked what the Home Secretary had done that was so great, the PMS said that the Home Secretary had been driving forward the Government counter terrorism strategy and the Government approach to neighbourhood policing. We had seen some significant changes in regards to neighbourhood policing since the Home Secretary took up her appointment, by trying to make it more personalised and more localised. The Home Secretary had also been driving the approach towards dealing with knife and gun crime, and overall crime continued to fall.

Asked if the Prime Minister s supportive remarks on the incident related only to the expenses claimed on the films or the other expenses claimed for the Home Secretary s family home, the PMS said that there were rules and procedures governed by the House of Commons for these matters. Specific questions about individual claims were best addressed to the Home Secretary s office. The Prime Minister supported reform of the system of MPs expenses to make it more transparent and accountable, and to make sure that the taxpayer got the best value for money. That was why the Prime Minister had last week called for the reform of MPs expenses and allowances that was being taken forward by the Standards Commission.

Put that there was now a case for putting that reform forward, the PMS said that the timing, terms of reference and remit for that had been set out by the Standards Commissioner.

Asked if the Prime Minister felt the Commons Authority should launch an investigation into how the details in the incident concerning the Home Secretary were leaked, the PMS said that that was a matter for the Commons Authority.

Asked if the Prime Minister was embarrassed by the incident concerning the Home Secretary, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had spoken on this subject at the press conference this morning. Jacqui Smith and her husband had both apologised for what happened; this was a personal matter for them and the issue should not be allowed to detract from the work that Jacqui Smith was doing as Home Secretary.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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