Social Policy Review
Asked for details on the social policy review meeting, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that that in the wake of the riots the Prime Minister (PM) announced his intention to review the Government’s work and consider whether plans and programmes were big and bold enough to deliver the change that the country wanted to see. The PMS said that the meeting today was the first in that process, chaired by the PM and pulling together Ministers from the relevant departments.
Asked if the PM planned to do anything else this week on law and order, the PMS said that there weren’t any plans.
Asked for more details on the review, the PMS said it was to see whether developing and existing policy work addressed the demands made by the public in the wake of the public disorder. Asked what these demands were, the PMS said it would look at all issues around the Broken Society including schools, family policy, parenting, human rights, health and safety, legal and bureaucratic policy, as well as the signals Government sent around behaviour that is encouraged and rewarded.
Asked about the issues around health and safety, the PMS said that the obsession with health and safety eroded people’s willingness to act according to common sense. Health and safety is important legislation but is often used as an excuse in the place of common sense. Asked how health and safety was linked to riots, the PMS said that in the wake of the riots the PM wanted to look at the whole remit of Government policies, from benefits, through to schools, not just health and safety.
Asked when there would be results from the review, the PMS said that the internal review would last until October. The PMS also said that there was a separate independent panel that would be looking at the impact on victims and communities, being conducted by the DPM. Its membership will be announced in the coming days.
Asked if the PM agreed with research saying that the behaviour of the political classes may have been a factor in the causes of the riots, the PMS said that we won’t know exactly what the causes were, but that the PM had made a strong response in the wake of the public disorder and that the social policy review would look at the broader impact and the issues raised.
Asked if there were further plans for riot related legislation, the PMS said the House of Commons (HoC) would be updated on events when it returns, but that it was an ongoing review.
Asked if the internal review was distinct from the Home Secretary’s work, the PMS said that it was and that the Home Secretary and Welfare Secretary were specifically reviewing gang culture.
Asked if the measures announced by the PM following the riots had taken effect, the PMS said that there were some immediate changes at an operational level to the police to help them get to grips with the situation, but that the social policy review was much broader.
Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news
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