Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 23 November 2010

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: UN Secretary General phone call, Welfare reform and royal wedding.

UN Secretary General phone call

The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister had spoken to the UN Secretary General this afternoon. They discussed the situation in South Korea and there was strong agreement that North Korea’s unprovoked attack was totally unacceptable. They urged restraint and agreed that next steps should include discussion at the UN Security Council. They also talked about Burma and the next steps following the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, including further UN engagement. The Secretary General also thanked the UK for the UN Security Council discussion on Sudan last week; they agreed that the UK and UN would continue to work closely together on the political process in Sudan ahead of the referendum early next year.

Asked if we would be pushing for a resolution at the UN Security Council, the PMS said that this was an unprovoked attack and a discussion needed to take place.

Asked if the call had been planned, the PMS said that this was a planned call; they spoke on a regular basis.

Welfare reform

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Chris Grayling’s comments about welfare reform, the PMS said that we had been clear about reforms to incapacity benefit; we were looking for a system that was fair and that got people who were able to work, back into work.

Asked if the aim of the reforms was to save money, the PMS said that generally speaking we were in tough times because of the budget deficit and we had to get the economy back on track. It was well known how much we were trying to save and one key area was the benefit system. But the key point was that we were trying to get people who were stuck in the benefits system, back into work.

Royal wedding

Asked how the Prime Minister felt about the Royal Wedding taking place just before elections, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had responded to that question in a media interview and had said that people were capable of seeing the difference between the two.

Asked if No 10 had expressed a view to the Palace about the date, the PMS said that the date of the wedding was entirely a decision for the Royal Family.