The government owes it to the electorate to continue with public–private partnerships, deputy prime minister John Prescott said this week.
Prescott told a government conference on Wednesday: "PPPs have been endorsed in every Labour manifesto since 1993. We will continue with that policy, as promised to electors."

Prescott rounded on Labour backbenchers who backed a moratorium on PPPs and PFIs, saying: "Nobody opposes improvements when they benefit their own constituents. I don't hear any MPs calling for their own projects to be delayed."

CBI director-general Digby Jones warned the conference that a moratorium would put at risk £7.6bn worth of projects.

Jones called for further changes to PFI procurement. He said: "When I talk to businesses around the country, they tell me a great deal of attention has to be paid to tendering and procurement. Slow procurement puts delivery at risk – reducing bid costs and time scales will be good for the public and private sector."

Also at the conference, the Office of Government Commerce launched a code for sharing refinancing gains under early PFI schemes, which will mean the private sector would repay 30% of any profit.

  • Architecture watchdog CABE this week published 11 recommendations to ensure that design quality is at the heart of public building projects. These included appointing a senior design champion for every public sector project.