» Monday, November 14, 2005

Lord Mayor’s Banquet Speech

Asked if there was a final text of the speech yet, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Prime Minister was still working on it. However the general theme would be that he would start off with globalisation in general then move to dealing with it in terms of terror and climate change. But the bulk of the speech would be devoted to trade and how the Doha round was in many ways a test of our determination and ability to make globalisation work. The Prime Minister would be on his feet at 2045 to deliver his speech and it was best of people waited till then for the detail.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Licensing Act

Asked for further information about the Licensing Act powers, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that we wanted to emphasise to local authorities the new powers contained in the Licensing Act. These were powers that allowed fixed penalty notices to be given for alcohol related disorders, targeting under-age sales of alcohol, the use of CC TV to defuse potential disorder, as well as the powers to close down premises that caused trouble. The PMOS said that tomorrow, the AMEC 3 announcement would similarly be aimed at those premises that were causing problems as well as those that were selling to under-age drinkers.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Public Service Reform

Asked if it was fair to say that the Prime Minister would be spending more time talking with the PLP, the PMOS said that as they would see later this week the Prime Minister was putting emphasis on explaining the reform programme that the Government was elected on. That would partly be to MPs but he would also be using public platforms as well. Asked if he would be putting the emphasis on not just on explaining but listening too and creating a dialogue, the PMOS said that without getting hung up on the pedantics a dialogue was about listening and explaining. The Government was elected on a manifesto of public sector reform. The Prime Minister had made it clear, both at the time of the election and in his party conference speech that he intended to carry through that manifesto commitment.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked if it was true that the Government was "shelving" attempts to review housing benefit, the PMOS said that with the new Secretary of State for DWP taking office, it was natural for a new person to take the time to get their feet under the table and settle in.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

90 Days

Asked why a letter from the Home Office to probation officers was suggesting different advice from that given to ACPO about lobbying MPs, the PMOS said that they should talk to the Home Office about whether there was any specific rule there. He would refer journalists to what past practice had been, which was that ACPO was not a stranger to expressing it's view to MPs. If people read the letter in the Times today from the former Chief Constable of Thames Valley it made that point very clearly. In terms of the 90 days the police had not been alone in expressing their support for 90 days as we had again heard from Lord Carlile yesterday.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked when the Cabinet changes might be announced, the PMOS said they would come when they came.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked if there would be a reshuffle tomorrow, the PMOS said that he had nothing to encourage that view. It would come when it came. Asked why the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster's job was being left vacant for so long when it had the important responsibility for deregulation of business, the PMOS said that if journalists cast their eye back over the past ten days it was fair to say there had been no shortage of events and therefore it was fair that the Prime Minister took his time and did it right.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked what the Prime Minister would want to do to consult regarding the Education White Paper, the PMOS replied that the important thing was to recognise that the manifesto the Government stood on at the election, did commit to pushing forward reforms in education. That was the foundation stone on which Government policy was built. Of course, that meant that we had to spell out what the White Paper proposed, rather than the myths that surrounded it. It was important that we addressed that, and both the Prime Minister and the Education Secretary would no doubt take the opportunity not only to MPs, but also to a wider audience to explain the true thinking behind the White Paper.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Welfare Reform

Asked what the time scale for the welfare reform green paper was and the education bill and whether the Education Secretary would be present when the Prime Minister met backbenchers this week, the PMOS said that in terms of meetings they would happen when they happened and we would not give a running commentary on every meeting the Prime Minister had with MPs. In terms of the welfare timetable it was only realistic that a new Secretary of State took a bit longer to come to conclusions and it was right that he was given time to do so. In terms of the education bill he was not aware of any change to the timetable of early next year.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Nuclear Power Station Security

Put that in light of the events in Australia recently regarding the terrorist threat to their nuclear power station, were there any extra security measures being put onto ours as a result, the PMOS said that as people could appreciate, it would not be very wise for him to talk about security in that context.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

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