News story

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 7 September 2010

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Cabinet, phone hacking allegations and the Trade Minister.

Cabinet

Asked if the HMRC tax error came up at Cabinet this morning, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said it was not discussed.

Asked why it wasn’t discussed, the PMS said it was being dealt with by the Treasury and HMRC.

Phone hacking allegations

Asked if there was any reaction to the police saying that they would talk to Andy Coulson, the PMS said no; Mr Coulson put out a statement yesterday saying that he would be happy to talk to them.

Asked if it was still the position that nothing had changed for the Prime Minister, the PMS said that that was correct.

Asked if the media would be informed when or if the police spoke to Andy Coulson, the PMS said that it was a matter for the police and Mr Coulson.

Trade Minister

Asked if the Prime Minister had interviewed Stephen Green personally for the job of Trade Minister, the PMS said that we were not going to get into how the appointment was made.

Asked about Lord Brittan’s position, the PMS said that Lord Brittan was doing a different role; he was looking at the trade strategy, which was a six month project.

Asked what the Prime Minister would say to those who asked why the government was appointing a banker as Minister when the bankers brought the economy to its knees, the PMS said that Stephen Green had a lot of experience to bring to government. The Prime Minister had been clear that he wanted trade and investment to be at the heart of our foreign policy and this appointment would help us do that.

Put that the appointment implied that the government wanted only banking investment, the PMS said that that wasn’t the case at all. Stephen Green brought business expertise to the government and having worked in an international bank brought expertise of working with other countries too.

Asked if he would be unpaid, the PMS said yes.