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No. 10 Morning Press Briefing From 27 June 2008

Briefing from the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: Zimbabwe, Henley by-election, video conferencing, Cabinet Office report on Public Services and miscellaneous

Morning press briefing from 27 June 2008

Zimbabwe

Asked for the Prime Minister's reaction to Italy's suggestion to start removing EU Ambassadors from Zimbabwe, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) said that we had seen the suggestion but that it was not something we were looking into at the moment; it was best to check with the Foreign Office for the official reaction.

The PMS went on to draw the journalists' attention to the G8 Foreign Ministers statement which had been issued from Japan this morning in relation to the elections taking place today; those views, and the view of the Foreign Secretary on the radio this morning, reflected the Prime Minister's thinking on this.

Asked if the Prime Minister had had or was planning to have any talks with African leaders, the PMS said that she was not aware of any planned calls, however, the Prime Minister had spoken at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday about the people he had spoken to. This was something that was being taken forward at the G8 today with Foreign Ministers and we continued to have constant dialogue with our partners in the region.

Henley By-Election

Asked if the Prime Minister intended to react to the result of the Henley by-election today, the PMS said that the Prime Minister was out and about in Manchester today at which there would be media present, so if he was asked about the by-election he would give an answer. However, there had not been any suggestion from the Labour Party that an official reaction was planned.

Asked how the Prime Minister had found out about the by-election result, the PMS said that she did not know.

Video Conferencing

Asked if the Prime Minister supported more video conferencing, the PMS said that the Prime Minister believed that the appropriate level of engagement should take place, dependent on the circumstances.

Asked how much the Prime Minister used video conferencing, the PMS said that the Prime Minister used video conferencing where appropriate and probed the journalist's line of questioning.

Cabinet Office Report on Public Services

Asked if there was anything in particular to highlight in the report on public services, the PMS said that we had yesterday drawn peoples' attention to certain sections from the forward and the fact that next Monday saw the publication of Lord Darzi's next stage review of the NHS, with particular focus on nurse-led practices and the extension of foundation trust status. The report on public services was about the third stage of reform and increasing professionalisation of public services across the board i.e. putting frontline staff at the forefront of designing services.

Miscellaneous

Asked for the Prime Minister's reaction to Tam Dalyell's comments on Ministers, the PMS said that the Prime Minister's focus today was on meeting with frontline service workers and meeting people involved in their communities, including those who tackled anti-social behaviour and those who increased participation in education.

Asked how the Prime Minister was going to get out of the hole he was in, the PMS said that she did not recognise the premise of the question.

Asked who was representing the Government at the European Cup final in Vienna at the weekend, the PMS said that she would check if there would be a Government representative.

ENDS

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