» Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Asked if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Patricia Hewitt, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied absolutely. That was obvious from listening to the substance of the Prime Minister's answers in PMQs earlier today. Patricia Hewitt was taking the hard decisions, which whilst not popular with certain sections of the medical profession in the short term, were laying the foundations for not just long term survival but also the long term success of the National Health Service. We had to move to a system that concentrated specialist services where they needed to be concentrated, and where medical technology and clinical practice were driving provision. Specialist resources should be concentrated where they were needed, but much more should be provided at the sharp end, in GP practises for example, where routine operations can be carried out at that level. Those were the decisions that needed to be taken for the long term success of the Health Service. Patricia Hewitt was driving that forward.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

FOI Bill

Asked if the Freedom of Information Bill as passed in the Commons was a valuable piece of legislation, the PMOS replied that this was a matter for Parliament. It was a matter for Parliament to strike the balance between on the one hand having the necessary transparency so that people could look at things such as MPs expenses, but on the other hand protect the correspondence of MPs. It was for Parliament to strike that balance.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked what would be our next phase of activity in Iran in light of the IAEA report, the PMOS replied that the UN would discuss this report, and we were absolutely committed to dealing with this through the UN. We believed that sanctions were having an impact on Iran, and a process of tightening those sanctions if necessary would deliver further results. It was important that the world continued to speak with one voice on Iran, and it was. Tehran should listen.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Put to the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) that though there was consultation regarding the future of energy in the UK there was a clear view that nuclear energy would pay a large part in the future, the PMOS said that the consultation was real but equally the analysis was real and the analysis is very clear that we are increasing renewable sectors substantially, up to 20 percent, we are investing in clean coal technology, but all of that will not fill the gap left by 20 percent of our current electricity needs being met by nuclear; those stations need to be renewed within the next 15 years. We are doing everything we can as the planning paper from earlier this week showed; for instance it will be easier to out up wind turbines and so on. But there is still a gap there and that gap has to be filled. Nuclear energy does meet climate change needs.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Home Information Packs (HIP)

Asked if the Government was confident of meeting the revised 1st of August deadline considering the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) say there should be a 12-week period of consultation on the shelf life of an energy certificate, the PMOS said he did not want to give a running commentary on discussions with RICS as that was a matter for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and RICS. The PMOS added what was important was to recognise that there were increased numbers of inspectors being trained and accredited. The discussion about energy is a central part of this, people do want more energy efficient homes, and it was in the national interest to have more energy efficient homes as 40 percent of emissions are from domestic use.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Alexander Litvinenko

Asked to characterise the discussions between the Russian and UK Governments regarding the Litvinenko case, the PMSO said he did not want to get into the discussions. There was a legal process set in training yesterday by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and we believe that should be followed through Russia should abide by its international obligations and we believe that by abiding to international obligations people will have the confidence in investing in Russia. The PMOS added that he was sure that Russia was just as aware of this as the UK was.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Prime Minister’s Press Conference

Asked if there would be press conference in June, the PMOS said that the diary would be continued to be looked at.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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