Gus O’Donnell’s report
Asked a number of questions about the content of Sir Gus O’Donnell’s report into Defence Secretary Liam Fox’s meetings with Adam Werrity, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the report was expected to be delivered to the Prime Minister tomorrow and details would be released afterwards. He said the purpose of the report was to establish the facts. Asked several times if a list of meetings between other Ministers and Adam Werrity would be published, the PMS said Sir Gus was looking to establish the facts and his findings would be published. Asked if the police had made contact regarding Adam Werrity, the PMS said they had not and that if they had an interest in the matter, that would be for them to pursue. Asked if the report would be accompanied by a list of lobbyists, the PMS said that that was a separate issue and that the Coalition agreement set out the Government’s intention to set up a statutory list of lobbyists and that there would be a consultation on that issue soon.
Asked about the Government’s policy on publishing the Hillsborough papers, the PMS said the Prime Minister had written to Andy Burnham on this issue saying that the Government was committed to full disclosure of any information held on Hillsborough, including Cabinet papers. He explained that the process was to release those to the Hillsborough independent panel and they would subsequently be shared with the families before being published.
Asked what the Government was doing to tackle the deficit, the PMS said the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister had been speaking with their counterparts in other countries to encourage action. He added that there was a growing understanding of the measures required. Asked several questions about whether the IMF needed more resources and whether the UK would increase its contribution to tackle the economic slowdown, the PMS said that the UK was a shareholder in the IMF and that it was in our interests to ensure it had enough resources to support economies around the world, but that building up IMF resources should not be a substitute for the Eurozone dealing with its own issues.
Asked why the Prime Minister could not simply tell energy companies to cut their prices, the PMS said that we thought the best way to deliver lower prices for consumers was to ensure we had a properly functioning, competitive market. He said that Ofgem were looking at whether there were areas where competition could be increased. We were also looking at ways to reduce customers’ bills by ensuring more people switched suppliers to get better deals and used less energy by taking action such as insulating their homes.