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Letter from PM to John Prescott


Letter from PM to John Prescott 16 May 2006

The Rt Hon John Prescott MP

  • John Prescott


First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister

Thank you for accepting reappointment as First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister and for agreeing to oversee and coordinate Government policy across the full range of domestic policy areas. I am writing to set out the challenges ahead for Government and for you.

As a Government the key overarching domestic challenges for us are: to build on our unprecedented record of economic achievement ensuring our country can compete and win in the global knowledge economy, to take key decisions in the coming period to ensure the long term security and prosperity of our country and its people, to sustain the momentum of public service modernisation showing how investment and the programme of reform is delivering real improvements for ordinary hard working families; and to underline our Government's commitment to social justice through policies to expand opportunity and tackle the most deep seated causes and symptoms of social exclusion.

Given this context, I am therefore asking all Secretaries of State to identify the key challenges and how they propose to deliver against these.

During our nine years together in Government, I have always valued your support and help as Deputy Prime Minister. As well as the Departmental responsibilities you have held since we came into office, you have also undertaken an important role chairing a range of Cabinet Committees and deputising for me domestically, including at Prime Minister's Questions and in respect of international issues. I would like you to continue in both of these roles.

As I have told you, you will act with my full authority in ensuring we deliver key pledges in the 2005 manifesto. To ensure we fully meet our promises to the country, I want you to chair nine Committees, including the key Domestic Affairs Committee which has wide ranging responsibilities for delivering the Government's priorities, and to be deputy chair of seven more. The full list of Committees I have asked you to chair is:

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Public Health
  • Housing and Planning
  • Inspection
  • Post Office Network
  • Ageing Policy
  • Local and Regional Government
  • Local Government Strategy and Performance
  • Animal Right Activists

In addition, I would like you to play an active role as my deputy on the following seven Committees:

  • Anti Social Behaviour
  • Asylum and Migration
  • Energy and the Environment
  • National Health Service Reform
  • Public Service Reform
  • Schools Policy
  • Serious Organised Crime and Drugs

You also have the right of attendance at all other Cabinet Committees, which you should continue to exercise as you judge necessary.

As Cabinet colleagues past and present know, you have shown repeatedly over the last nine years how effectively you can help bring Departments together to find solutions. This is also why I would like you to work on improving the effectiveness of policy development across Government, and especially with those issues demanding an effective cross-Government response.

You have played an important role internationally, including in tackling the challenge of climate change, in relations with China, and during the British Presidency of the EU. I want you to continue this role in particular in respect of the China Task Force, and, in recognition of your work in delivering the Kyoto Treaty, to work with the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for the Environment, and other Departments across Government on promoting the Government's post-Kyoto agenda.

Thank you for the work you have done in post so far. I look forward to discussing the challenges with you again.

Tony Blair

May 2006


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Prime Minister Tony Blair"It is in the interests of this country that we get on with the business of governing."