Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Morning From 29 February 2012

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

Reading, work experience and Argentina were among the topics discussed at this session.

Reading

Asked what the Prime Minister’s (PM) favourite book was, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) said he did not know off-hand but that his favourite children’s book was The Lorax by Dr Seuss.

Work experience

Asked which businesses would be attending the BIS meeting with Chris Grayling and whether the Minister would be making a statement, the PMS said BIS would be issuing a press notice and that he expected the Minister to make some comments after the meeting.

Unite

Asked if the PM was outraged at Unite leader Len McCluskey’s suggestions of strikes and civil disobedience during the Olympics, the PMS said the Olympics were a great opportunity for the country to show the world everything that is great about the UK. He added that what Mr McCluskey was proposing was completely unacceptable and unpatriotic.

Asked if the PM would appeal to Unite’s membership not to support Mr McCluskey’s call, the PMS said most people in the country, including members of unions, think the Olympics is a great occasion for this country and would not want to see anything disrupt it in any way.

Asked to comment on the fact several unions with control of main arterials around London are demanding extra pay over the Olympics, while no one else would be getting extra pay for coming to work during that time, the PMS said the Government wanted to see everyone coming together to support the Olympics.

Argentina

Asked if the PM had any response to Argentina’s request to 20 firms to stop importing British goods, the PMS said Argentina’s policy of confrontation was counterproductive and a complete misreading of Britain’s resolve on the issue. The PMS added the UK was a major investor in Argentina, we import goods from the country and this action was not in Argentina’s economic interest.

Asked if we would give similar advice to British businesses, the PMS said the right approach was one of cooperation not confrontation.

Asked if we were having talks with Argentina on this issue, the PMS said the FCO were certainly in contact with the embassy in London.

Tax

Asked if the Chancellor was taking any interest in the French Socialist presidential candidate’s proposals for a 75 per cent tax on those earning more than Euro1m a year, the PMS said that tax is a matter for the Chancellor but he did not think he would be proposing a similar tax here.