» Tuesday, November 2, 2004

US Election

When asked if the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) knew how and when the Prime Minister might respond to the US Elections, he replied that would depend on how and when the elections result became known.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked about Alan Johnson's comments at the British Association of Insurers Conference earlier that pension credits acted as a disincentive for people to save for their retirement and if the Prime Minister recognised that it was an emerging problem, the PMOS replied that since he had not seen Mr. Johnson's comments, he would not comment on them directly, but this issue had been dealt with at the time of the Adair Turner Report. The report would come forward with recommendations next year but it had already outlined the reasons why Means testing had helped the poorest pensioners and the details with which it had done so.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if the Prime Minister was voting tonight in the House, the PMOS said he was not aware of the Prime Minister's plans at that time.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Health Event

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) began by briefing journalists on the Prime Minister's visit this morning. The PMOS told journalists that the Government wished to draw attention to an area of policy which was often overshadowed but did in fact affect millions of people, not just old people themselves but also their relatives and carers who look after them. What the Government was highlighting this morning was the attempt to encourage older people to keep fit, to take exercise classes and so on in order to maintain them in an active lifestyle. One of things that the Prime Minister was highlighting was that we have freed up bed space in hospitals, equivalent to over 1 million bed days per year or in other terms, 8 new district hospitals. The Government believed that although it wasn't something which jumped to the top of the news it was actually quite important.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Children’s Bill

Asked if the Prime Minister would be voting on the "smacking bill", the PMOS said that he wasn't aware whether the Prime Minister would vote or not. The position was, as he had said yesterday afternoon, that there would be a free vote on the Lester amendment, but the Government would vote against proposals for a complete ban. The reason for that was that the Government believed that parents should be able to discipline their children, but obviously not cross into abuse. It was the prevention of that abuse which the Government had been concerned about, without taking away the right of parents to reasonably chastise their children, within limits. Those limits were contained within the Lester amendment.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

US Presidential Election

Asked if the Prime Minister would be staying up tonight to watch the results of the Presidential election in the United States, the PMOS told journalists that he would brief on that tomorrow morning. Asked if the Prime Minister might consider following the example of his Swedish counterpart by giving a 7am press conference, the PMOS suggested that it might depend on the results were actually announced.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Gambling Bill

Asked if the Government was satisfied the yesterdays vote on the Gambling Bill, the PMOS said that now the Bill had gone into committee stage and Tessa Jowell has said that she was open to practical suggestions, the best thing was to let the Bill proceed through the committee stage.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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