Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon For 4 July 2011

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Dilnot, Libya, Chris Huhne, Andrea Hill Resignation, Scottish Identity, Missing Serviceman and Police Detention Powers.


Asked when we would like to see action, including all party talks, take place now that the Dilnot review had been published, the PMDS (Prime Minister’s Deputy Spokesperson) said that the White Paper was due in spring next year and it would be accompanied by a progress report on funding. She added, in terms of process, the PM had said he would welcome cross party talks on social care and between now and until the White Paper is published, the Department of Health would hold a number of meetings to engage with a wide range stakeholders to work up the proposals that will be included in the White Paper.

Asked if there were any impediments to cross party talks, the PMDS said the PM had said he was happy for cross party talks to take place.

Asked whether the PM would convene cross party talks and when they might happen, the PMDS said we had not set out a schedule or process at this point. She added that today we were just welcoming the report and would look at it in more detail in coming days.

Asked who would convene the talks, the PMDS referred people to the Department of Health.


Asked what the rationale was for only having an internal review into the ‘botched’ evacuation in Libya, the PMDS said it was good practice to look at lessons learnt and that is what had happened in this case.

Chris Huhne

Asked if the Energy and Climate Change Secretary would stay in his job if he was arrested this week, the PMDS said she would not get into a hypothetical scenario.

Asked whether the PM had confidence in him, the PMDS said the PM continued to have confidence in the Energy Secretary.

Asked what limitations were placed on Ministers, the PMDS referred people to the Ministerial Code of Conduct published on the Cabinet Office website.

Andrea Hill Resignation

Asked for a comment on the resignation of Andrea Hill from Suffolk County Council, the PMDS said she would come back to people on the issue.

Scottish Identity

Asked whether the PM agreed that the notion that Scottish identity was specious, the PMDS said people should be proud of wherever they come from in the British Isles.

Missing Serviceman

Asked whether the incident would influence the PM’s statement, the PMDS said the Defence Secretary had set out in the House what we knew about the situation and an extensive operation was in place to locate this missing serviceman. She added that the PM was absolutely aware of the incident but she could not comment whether this was impacting on the logistics of his trip. In terms of the bigger question about our strategy in Afghanistan, she did not believe this would change. The PM would look at the progress on the ground and report back to the House on Wednesday.

Police Detention Powers

Asked to comment on claims made by the Opposition that today’s emergency business statement on police detention powers smacked of panic, the PMDS referred people to the Home Office.