» Monday, October 4, 2004


Asked about the Prime Minister’s health today, the PMOS said that he was working in Downing Street and feeling fresh and alert. Questioned as to whether the Prime Minister had had a medical check-up since leaving hospital, the PMOS said that he had no intention of providing a running commentary on the Prime Minister’s medical appointments and care. Asked if it was a good idea for the Prime Minister to undertake a visit to Africa so soon after his hospital procedure, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister obviously acted on the advice provided by doctors who were clearly better placed than anyone else to judge such matters. Asked if a doctor would accompany the Prime Minister on the trip, the PMOS said not as far as he was aware.

Asked if the Prime Minister had been frustrated by the heightened speculation about his successor in response to his announcement last week that he would not stand for a fourth term, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had obviously expected a degree of coverage as a result of his clarifying remarks which had been made because of existing speculation about his position regarding a third term in office. It had not resulted in a fresh bout. It had simply been a clarification exercise. Asked if he would agree that the exercise had failed, the PMOS said no. All the Prime Minister had done was tell the country what his position was. However, as he had underlined, in the end it was a matter for the electorate to decide whether to elect him for a third term or not. Asked if a third term meant a full third term, the PMOS said that as a Civil Servant he was unable to comment on political matters. That said, the Prime Minister had made it very clear last Thursday that a full term meant a full term. Asked if the Prime Minister had discussed the issue with the Queen in advance, the PMOS said that it wasn’t our practice to brief on conversations between the Queen and the Prime Minister.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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