» Monday, February 7, 2005

Peter Hyman

Asked to respond to comments by Peter Hyman that there should be a higher rate of tax for high earners, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that Peter Hyman no longer worked for the Government and was entitled to his opinions as an individual. Taxation policy was decided by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Put to him that Peter Hyman had suggested that the Prime Minister was under pressure to change taxation policy, the PMOS pointed out that he had also pointed out that the Prime Minister was unconvinced.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked to comment on a report that the Prime Minister had personally persuaded Charles Clarke to put forward the "points" system for immigration, the PMOS said that he had dealt with this matter his morning. The first thing Charles Clarke had said on his appointment as Home Secretary was that he was entirely comfortable with the approach to asylum and immigration. That approach had evolved through the various measures the Government had put in place over the past few years. But the Prime Minister had highlighted last April that this would be a top to bottom review. That had been confirmed again in July when the then Home Secretary published the five year plan for the Home Office and said that there would be a separate one for asylum and immigration. The Prime Minister confirmed that view in September. When Charles Clarke became Home Secretary he took over the business of preparing it. The statement that he had produced today was very much his but obviously produced in consultation with the Prime Minister.

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

Cancer Story

Asked to comment further on the Sunday Times story about cancer rates and programmes that looked "catastrophic", the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Department of Health (DoH) could brief the journalist more clearly. The PMOS said there was a dispute regarding the reliability of the report, but he recommended people spoke to the DoH as they were the experts.

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

Northern Ireland

Asked what the Government's reaction was to the further discouragement of sanctions by the Irish Government, and when the IMC report would be published, the PMOS said it had not been decided when the IMC Report would be published. It could be this week, though our response might take longer, but it would be better to wait until it had been published before commenting further.

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

Asylum and Immigration

Asked if the Prime Minister intervened with Charles Clarke in order to "toughen up" today's immigration announcement, the PMOS said the rumours were wrong. One of the first things Charles Clarke said upon his appointment, was his recognition that there were real issues to address on asylum. The Prime Minister first highlighted the need to have a top/bottom review of this matter last April, followed by an announcement in July that there would be a separate Five Year Plan on immigration and asylum. The Prime Minister further referred to the matter in September, but the important thing today was that it would be Charles Clarke at the Dispatch Box. He had taken the time to go through the plan and ensure he was happy with all elements of it. As he had said yesterday on "Breakfast with Frost", there had been genuine improvements in the number of asylum applications, which were down 67% since October 2002. There were still other areas that needed to be addressed, whilst at the same time making the case for managed migration, and also for proper asylum procedures. This was therefore very much Charles Clarke's Five Year Plan, but of course he had worked hand-in-hand with the Prime Minister on it.

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

MOD Carriers

Asked if there was any announcement from the MOD about carriers, the PMOS said he was not aware of any. He pointed out that it was also a commercial matter, so he would not be able to comment beforehand.

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


Asked for any further information on the Hercules crash last week, the PMOS said the crash investigator was in charge of the timing of any announcement.

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


Asked if the Prime Minister had sought assurance that MI6 had not been involved in the arrest of Martin Mubanga, the PMOS said Charles Clarke had said all that needed to be said about the situation.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


February 2005
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jan   Mar »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh