Asked if the Prime Minister had a view on giving some prisoners the right to vote, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that there were a number of court cases, including one currently being considered by the European Court of Human Rights. In considering this issue we would have to take into account what the court said. The previous government held a two-stage consultation on this, which had not concluded by May 2010.
Asked if the consultation was still live, the PMS said that we were considering the issue and would look at what happened in the courts.
Asked if the government’s consideration was being framed by the consultation, the PMS said that he would not say it was specifically framed by it; the consideration would draw on all possible sources of advice.
Asked if the Prime Minister believed that there could be a moral imperative to change the current situation, the PMS said that the position we were in was unfortunate and that a lot of people in the country would find it difficult to understand the argument that prisoners deserved the right to vote. Clearly, we would look at what the court had to say.
Asked if there was a reaction to Moody’s latest ratings, the PMS said that the report highlighted the decisive action that the government had taken to address the budget deficit. It also welcomed the creation of the Office of Budget Responsibility, which it considered to be a positive step.
Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was fair that 9,000 public sector workers got paid more than him, the PMS said that we were looking at public sector pay in the context of the spending review. There was a two-year pay freeze, and John Hutton was reviewing public sector pensions. As well as this, Will Hutton would be looking at the issue of salary multiples and fairness in the public sector.
Put that there had been suggestions that the government was downgrading the issue of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by sending the Deputy Prime Minister to the MDG summit in New York, the PMS said that we did not accept that suggestion. The International Development Secretary had been explaining over the weekend why we attached such importance to our aid commitments and the achievement of the MDGs.