Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 9 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: phone hacking allegations and misc

Phone hacking allegations

Asked if the Prime Minister would be having a meeting with Andy Coulson regarding the phone hacking allegations, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that we did not generally comment on the Prime Minister’s meetings.

Asked if Andy Coulson had offered his resignation, the PMS said no, and the matter didn’t arise because nothing had changed.

Asked if there was any reaction to the news that the Standards and Privileges Committee would be looking into the phone hacking matter, the PMS said that the House had taken a view that the inquiry should go ahead and that was a matter for the House.

Asked if Andy Coulson would be happy to give evidence to the committee, the PMS said that the committee had not yet decided the terms of the inquiry.

Asked if anyone from government had been speaking to the committee, the PMS said that the normal procedure was that the committee met and decided the terms of the inquiry and how it would be conducted.

Asked if Andy Coulson still had the full confidence of the Prime Minister, the PMS said yes.

Asked if the Prime Minister believed Andy Coulson’s denial, the PMS said yes.

Asked if the Prime Minister shared Tom Watson MP’s concerns that too many politicians cowered in the face of powerful media executives, the PMS said that Mr Watson spoke for himself and we would not comment.

Misc

Asked about reports that the government was going to scrap plans to build two new aircraft carriers, the PMS said that there was a Strategic Defence Review underway and there was some speculation about that, but it was purely speculation. Once the review had concluded we would let people know the results.

Asked if the review would be concluded before the year’s end, the PMS said yes.