» Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Public Finances

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Lord Mandelson that George Osbourne had been sending out deliberate untruths about the access the Conservatives had regarding information on public finances, the PMS said that the Prime Minister s position on the question of access to information was that he knew nothing about this situation; he had not been involved in any decisions or discussions relating to talks between the Civil Service and the opposition parties, nor should he be.

Asked what access opposition parties had regarding information on public finances, the PMS said that it was best to check with the Cabinet Office, but there was something called the Directory of Civil Servants Guidance, which set out the established procedures regarding contact between senior civil servants and the Opposition.

Asked if the Prime Minister believed such information should be made available so the public could come to a direct conclusion about the decisions the Government and the Opposition made, the PMS said that the Prime Minister set out his position in his letter to the Leader of the Opposition on 19 December last year when he said that contact should be on the same basis as before; in line with longstanding convention and in full accordance with the Civil Service Code and Directory of Civil Service Guidance. It was not for the Prime Minister to get into the specifics of what that meant in practice, as it would be inappropriate for him to do that.

Put that it was ultimately a decision for the Government as to whether or not this information could be made public, the PMS said that, without getting into specifics, we made a lot of information about public spending available to the public, for example the Budget and the Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis contained detailed information on public spending.

Asked if George Osbourne s claims came as a surprise to the Prime Minister, the PMS said that the Prime Minister felt it was right that there should be contact between the Opposition Party and the senior civil service, which was why he wrote to David Cameron in December last year to authorise such contact. It was also the Prime Minister s view that such contact should be in line with the normal conventions. There should not be any involvement from the Prime Minister regarding the manner of that contact.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

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


July 2009
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jun   Aug »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh