Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Morning From 29 November 2010

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: FIFA, wikileaks, tuition fees and misc.

FIFA

Asked if the Prime Minister was talking to anyone at the BBC ahead of the Panorama programme on FIFA tonight, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister had set out his view over the weekend during his Football Focus interview.  No contact was expected between Downing Street and the BBC.

Wikileaks

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with US representative Peter King that Wikileaks should be designated a recognised terror organistion, the PMS said that we condemned the unauthorised release of classified information.  The leaks and their publication were damaging to national security in the US, Britain, and elsewhere.

Asked about the detail of the leaked documents, the PMS said that it was important that governments were able to operate on the basis of confidentiality of information.  This was the first day of the publication of these documents and we anticipated several more days of disclosures, but we would not get drawn into commenting on detail of the documents.

Asked if the concern was that the principle of confidential discussion within governments had been compromised, the PMS said that he would not comment on what had come out.  The point was that this was classified information and leaks of this kind had the potential to damage national security. 

Asked what our actions would be going forward and if we were seeking any assurances from the US that information we passed on would not be shared, the PMS said that we worked very closely with the US and other governments, and we would continue to do so.  We had no doubt that the US was fully committed to protecting our classified information.  The information that had been released were US cables.

Asked if changes were being made to the way people dealt with confidential matters, the PMS said that we would continue to work closely with the US and other governments.  This kind of leak was potentially damaging because we worked on the basis that this information was confidential.

Asked if there would be any information on the Prime Minister released over the coming days, the PMS said that, as people knew, we had been briefed by the US Embassy on the content of these cables.

Asked if the Prime Minister was offended, the PMS repeated that we would not be drawn on commenting on the content of the documents.

Asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to President Obama about the leaks, the PMS said no.

Tuition Fees

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with David Willets that the Business Secretary, for example, would be expected to support a vote on tuition fees, the PMS said that the position was set out in the Coalition Document: Liberal Democrat MPs could abstain on this issue.

Asked if that took precedence over collective responsibility, the PMS said that they both applied. 

Misc

Asked about the Growth Review the Business Secretary had been talking about this morning, the PMS said that we wanted to look at, for example, how different government departments impacted on different sectors of the economy, and we wanted to look at where we could reduce regulation.  It could be that reducing regulation in some areas would need legislation, and if it did we would introduce it.   The review would look at how we could promote and foster a private sector recovery.