Put that the Standards and Privileges Committee had announced the terms of the inquiry into phone hacking and asked if Andy Coulson would be willing to appear before them, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that he had not seen the terms of the inquiry yet; we should wait and see what the Committee said. The government would cooperate with any inquiry.
Put that Cabinet ministers had vowed to stand firm against “vested interests” who pleaded for special treatment in the public spending cuts and asked what was meant by “vested interest”, the PMS said that the point we were making was that over the course of the next few weeks there was likely to be a lot of debate and speculation about the spending review. We were keen to ensure that we worked with the people who were likely to be affected by cuts and would draw on expertise from the public sector to ensure we protected the frontline.
Asked why no meetings had been planned with trade unions, the PMS said that there were a whole host of meetings between government, unions and public servants all the time. This stage of the process was about settling the budgets for departments. Departments would be working with public sector workers and unions to deliver within those new budgets.