» Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Sir Nigel Crisp

Asked if Sir Nigel Crisp had now really taken "early retirement" or had he been sacked, the PMOS said there was no need to use air quotation marks with his fingers around "early retirement"! As the PMOS had said this morning, Sir Nigel had had a very distinguished career in the Health Service for 20 years, with the past 5 years being in his current role. The Prime Minister recognised that without Sir Nigel, we would not have had the reform programme as it was, and that was why as Sir Nigel took early retirement, the Prime Minister had recommended him for a life peerage. The Prime Minister did not do that lightly, as he could only recommend life peerages like this one 10 times in a Parliament. Therefore, it should give people some idea of the esteem in which the Prime Minister held Sir Nigel. In terms of Sir Nigel, as the PMOS understood it, he recognised that we were entering a new era of reform, as it was one that would take quite considerable commitment over A long period. Therefore, for his own personal reasons, Sir Nigel wanted to retire at this stage, which we understood.

Asked if the Prime Minister ever recommended life peerages "lightly", the PMOS replied that he could broaden his comments, but what he was trying to illustrate was that if there were only 10 non-political life peerages that could be recommended in Parliament, if one was used, it therefore was a sign that the person concerned was held in genuine esteem.

Put that there were therefore 9 left, the PMOS said that he could see where the Sky two-way was going, and he was not going to go there!

Asked if the Prime Minister was willing to withdraw any names that were "sticking" with the scrutiny committee, the PMOS replied that he did not give running commentaries on recommendations for peerages, he just announced them!

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Search for related news

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