Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon For 16 June 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Alan Milburn, Thameslink, procurement, sentencing reform, Greece and Steve Hilton.

Alan Milburn

Asked if the PM has confidence in Alan Milburn’s judgement, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) responded that Alan Milburn has his personal opinions, but the Government thought that there was now widespread support for the Health Reforms.  The PMS added that Alan Milburn was advising us on social mobility, not on health.

In response to the suggestion that the Siemens High Speed Rail contract is not compatible with the PM’s appeal for the UK private sector to create jobs, the PMS said that these decisions are taken to get the best value for the tax payer.  The PMS also pointed out that the recent employment figures showed half a million more private sector jobs in the last year.


Asked if the Government was getting to grips with procurement issues, the PMS responded that the Government is determined to do that.

Sentencing reform

Asked if there had been any meetings with the PM on sentencing reform today, the PMS said that he had been in Lincoln and therefore there had not.  The PMS declined to comment on timetable for sentencing reform, saying that the Government is considering the consultation and would make an announcement in due course.

Asked if decisions on sentencing reforms were signed off in a meeting last week, the PMS said he would not comment on every meeting on this issue.


Asked the Government’s position on Germany’s comments that the Greece bail out be EU wide, rather than just Eurozone, the PMS responded that the arrangements in place do not involve the UK.

Steve Hilton

Asked if Steve Hilton was still employed by Downing Street, the PMS confirmed that he was.