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UK Press Briefing: Peter Hyman and Immigration

Press Briefing: 3.45pm Monday 7 February 2005

Briefing from the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman on: Peter Hyman and Immigration.

Peter Hyman

Asked to respond to comments by Peter Hyman that there should be a higher rate of tax for high earners, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that Peter Hyman no longer worked for the Government and was entitled to his opinions as an individual. Taxation policy was decided by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Put to him that Peter Hyman had suggested that the Prime Minister was under pressure to change taxation policy, the PMOS pointed out that he had also pointed out that the Prime Minister was unconvinced.

Immigration

Asked to comment on a report that the Prime Minister had personally persuaded Charles Clarke to put forward the "points" system for immigration, the PMOS said that he had dealt with this matter his morning. The first thing Charles Clarke had said on his appointment as Home Secretary was that he was entirely comfortable with the approach to asylum and immigration. That approach had evolved through the various measures the Government had put in place over the past few years. But the Prime Minister had highlighted last April that this would be a top to bottom review. That had been confirmed again in July when the then Home Secretary published the five year plan for the Home Office and said that there would be a separate one for asylum and immigration. The Prime Minister confirmed that view in September. When Charles Clarke became Home Secretary he took over the business of preparing it. The statement that he had produced today was very much his but obviously produced in consultation with the Prime Minister.


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