Asked if there were still discussions taking place within Cabinet on the issue, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that there would be an announcement very soon. There was some process issues to be worked through, but the PMS said that he would get into describing that process.
Asked if there was a danger with a by election tomorrow, that this could be seen as a political decision, the PMS replied that it was not.
On whether Lord MacDonald was one of the outstanding parts of the process, the PMS said that Lord MacDonald was asked in July last year to carry out a review and the PMS had no doubt that he had been working closely with the Home Secretary. Put that Lord MacDonald had not signed it off yet, the PMS advised people that there would be an announcement very soon.
Asked whether the Prime Minister thought Stephen Hester deserved a bonus, the PMS replied that there was a discussion underway between UKFI and RBS and people should wait for that process to be completed.
When asked if the discussions had moved on to why the banks were not lending to small businesses, the PMS said that the Chancellor had made a statement yesterday afternoon and he referred people to that.
Asked if he could confirm that Santander had pulled out of discussions with the Government, the PMS advised people to speak to the Treasury for any updates on the discussions taking place.
On whether the Prime Minister had seen any of Bob Diamond’s appearance before MPs yesterday the PMS said that the Prime Minister had not been watching it. Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Bob Diamond that the time for apologising was over, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had made his position clear on the banks at the weekend.
Asked if the Prime Minister had met with Vince Cable for talks on the issue, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had been with Vince Cable both yesterday and Monday to talk about growth.
Asked if the Prime Minister had found Lord Oakeshott’s comments on bonuses helpful, the PMS replied that he would not be providing commentary on every comment made about bonuses.