Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 12 January 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 Presidency, strike laws, search and rescue, Eric Illsley and bankers' bonuses

European Presidency

Asked whether the Prime Minister supported the post of European President, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that he did not want to get into posts and structures; the important thing for the European Council was that it focussed on the important issues and that by acting together European countries could make a difference.

Asked about European Council bureaucracy and European budgets, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had a view on the budget which people were aware of.

Strike Laws

On where the Government was on strike laws, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had said that people had made a case for new laws, but at the present time, there weren’t any specific proposals.

Asked who the Prime Minister was referring to when he talked about people making the case, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had said the case had been made to him and he was listening to the arguments that were being put.

Asked why the Prime Minister had chosen now to speak on the subject, the PMS replied that there had been a number of statements from the unions in recent days about strikes relating to the Royal Wedding and the Olympics.

Search and Rescue

Asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to Prince William about the future of Search and Rescue, the PMS replied that we would never comment on any discussions between the Prime Minister and the Royal Family.

Eric Illsley

Asked if the Government had explored ways to bring about a motion in the House to expel Mr Illsley, the PMS replied that the question was asked within No10 as to what the rules were on the subject.

Bankers’ Bonuses

Asked what the Prime Minister thought about Eric Daniels getting a £2m bonus, the PMS replied that it was his understanding that neither the Treasury, or the UKFI on their behalf had received any proposals form Lloyds and therefore this seemed to be speculation.

When asked if it would be acceptable, the PMS said that there was a process which involved UKFI speaking to Lloyds and to RBS and as of earlier today they had not received any proposals.

Put that the Prime Minister had said that he expected the bonus pool to be smaller than last year, rather than any one individual being given a smaller amount, the PMS said that we would not be setting out in advance of the conversation with UKFI where that conversation should end up.

Asked if the Prime Minister got the impression that the banks were listening to his calls for restraint, the PMS replied that he was sure the banks had heard what had been said in recent days by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Put that there seemed to be some indication that the laws on bonuses would be changed or tightened up, the PMS said that the point the Chancellor and the Prime Minister had been making was that FSA rules were intended to limit the number of guaranteed bonuses, so bonuses should be contingent on someone’s performance and where possible they should be paid in shares and subject to claw-back.