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No. 10 Afternoon Press Briefing From 17 July 2008

Afternoon press briefing from 17 July 2008

Briefing from the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: Libson Treaty, Information Commissioner and miscellaneous...

Lisbon Treaty

Asked why journalists hadn't been informed yesterday about the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) said that once the ratification had happened the Foreign Office had made an announcement and that, from his understanding, the precedence was that in the past there hadn't been any formal Written Ministerial Statements, as there had been today; this was a step forward in the road to transparency.

Asked how ratification could take place when the Irish had voted against it, the PMS replied that before the Treaty could come into force it had to be ratified by each individual member state and each individual member state was currently going through the process of ratifying the Treaty.

Asked what the Prime Minister's view was in regards to what should happen next, the PMS said that the Prime Minister's view was that the position remained the same as it had been at the time of the European Council a few weeks ago; it was a matter for the Irish to decide what they did next.

Information Commissioner

Asked if the Prime Minister had vetoed an increase in the salary of the Information Commissioner, the PMS said that the Ministry of Justice had issued a Written Ministerial Statement today, which said that there would be a consultation on the powers of the Information Commissioner; any issues relating to his salary should be considered once that review had had time to report.

Asked if the consultation would also look at the role of Electoral Commissioner, the PMS said that the information he possessed was only on the Information Commissioner. The Written Statement from the Ministry of Justice, as far as the PMS could see, only referred to the Information Commissioner.

Miscellaneous

Asked why the Prime Minister was going to appear on the BBC programme "The One Show" and if it was live, the PMS said that it was live, that the Prime Minister had been invited on and that it had been in the diary for a while. The main discussion would be on knife crime.

Asked for the Prime Minister's thoughts on the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report into Equitable Life, the PMS said that there was nothing to add to the statement the Treasury had put out.

Asked about the Intelligence and Security Committee becoming open to the public, the PMS said he would look into it and get back to the journalist.

ENDS

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