Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 11 July 2011

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: phone hacking and public sector reform.

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

Phone Hacking

Asked if the PM was aware of the statement put out by Metropolitan Police on phone hacking, the PMS said he wasn’t able to confirm this.

Asked whether the PM had been made aware of the former PM’s upcoming statement on phone hacking, the PMS said we were aware of media reports.

Asked if the possibility that the former PM’s phone had been hacked raised concerns about the PM’s phone, the PMS said we should wait for the former PM to make his statement.

Asked if he could provide an update on any contact between the PM and Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, over the weekend, the PMS said he was not aware of any contact.

Asked whether the PM thought it would be prudent to proactively contact the police to check if his phone has been hacked, the PMS said he believed that the police were contacting individuals where they had evidence.

Asked for a reaction to Ed Miliband’s accusation that the PM had lied about Andy Coulson, the PMS referred to the PM’s words from last Friday’s press conference.

Asked about allegations that Steve Hilton and Ed Llewellyn were passed information concerning Andy Coulson by the Guardian, the PMS said these events took place before May 2010 and it was not appropriate for the Government spokesperson to respond.

Asked whether the PM had expressed any regret over hiring Andy Coulson, the PMS said the PM had made his position clear at Friday’s press conference.

Asked if following the PM’s comments on Friday that Rupert Murdoch had questions to answer and developments over the weekend, whether he now agreed this statement applied to Les Hinton and others in News International, the PMS said all of these questions were subject to a police investigation.

Asked whether Rupert Murdoch had been in contact with the PM since his arrival in the UK, the PMS said he had not.

Asked whether the PM had been consulted before the 2010 elections on whether there should be judicial review of the BSkyB bid, the PMS referred people to the Cabinet Office.

Public Sector Reform

Asked whether plans had been watered down because of Liberal Democrat concerns, the PMS said this was untrue. He added that if you compared the Public Services White Paper with the PM’s comments earlier in the year, you would see there was a consistent message.

Asked why this particular White Paper would not lead to a Bill, the PMS said there were many Bills already going through Parliament to reform public services.

Published 11 July 2011