Briefing by the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: Cabinet, BP, Alternative Vote and public sector pay.
The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister spoke at Cabinet this morning about yesterday’s announcement on electoral reform. He confirmed that he would be taking part in the campaign, but this would not mean he would give up his day job and tour the country.
The Prime Minister also took Cabinet through the Detainees Statement this afternoon. It would be a comprehensive statement, which would address legacy issues as well as providing clarity for the security services so they could get on with the vital job they do for this country.
Asked for more details about the statement, the PMS said that reporters should wait for the statement; the objective was to deal with the past and provide clarity for the secret services to do their job in the future.
The PMS went on to say that Cabinet also discussed structural reform plans, which all departments would be publishing over the coming months. These plans would be the first part of the business plans that each department would have, followed up with resourcing plans, which would follow from the spending review process. They would form a basis of a continuing discussion between departments and the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to monitor progess.
Asked if the Government was involved in drawing up contingency plans for BP, the PMS said that our position on contingency plans was that whether or not they were happening we didn’t comment on them, and people shouldn’t read anything into that.
Asked if the Government recognised BP’s significance regarding pensions, the PMS said that there was nothing to add to what senior Ministers had already said about BP.
Asked if the Prime Minister would be making a speech and doing an interview on AV during the campaign, the PMS said that he didn’t want to get into specific details; the Prime Minister would make his views known at the time.
Asked if the Prime Minister had specifically said that he didn’t want to be seen to be campaigning, the PMS said no, the Prime Minister had not said that.
Public sector pay
Asked how much money would be saved following Francis Maude’s announcement on compensation, the PMS said that it would depend on a number of factors including the outcome of the spending review and the rates of turnover in the public sector, but people should speak to the Cabinet Office for details.
Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was time to end national pay rates for civil servants, the PMS said that the Government’s position was that there would be a pay freeze for the next two years.