Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon For 26 October 2011

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: European Council, Hillsborough, unfair dismissal and Business Secretary Vince Cable.

European Council

Asked if the Prime Minister was delaying his departure from Brussels so that he could catch up on what happened at the Eurozone meeting, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman said there had been no delay, the Prime Minister had been clear that he wanted to be in Brussels for the European Council meeting and he planned to then travel on to Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Asked if the Prime Minister was expected to have any face-to-face meetings in Brussels, the PMS said there were no planned formal bilaterals. Asked for the Prime Minister’s view on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for an international transaction tax, the PMS said the Government’s position on the issue of a transaction tax had not changed; such a proposal would require global agreement.


Asked what the Prime Minister meant by his alleged comments about Hillsborough, the PMS said he did not mean any offence in any way and he was expressing his sympathy for how hard it can be to find closure in dealing with grief and he regretted any offence caused.

Unfair Dismissal

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with views expressed by Liberal Democrat MPs that there was a less than 1 per cent chance of scrapping the unfair dismissal legislation, the PMS said that she was not going to comment specifically in relation to the leaked report by Adrian Beecroft that the journalist was clearly referring to but drew attention to the commitments made to reform employment legislation in the Coalition Agreement which was that employment law reform should be based on fairness to both employers and employees.

Business Secretary Vince Cable

Asked about Vince Cable’s admission he had incurred a penalty for not paying a VAT bill on time, the PMS said the matter was closed: the Business Secretary had made a statement; any payments due to HMRC had been paid.