» Monday, December 6, 2004

Sir Alan Budd’s Inquiry

Asked for guidance about when, and in what format Sir Alan Budd's report would be made public the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that he could not give any information on when and in what format it would come out because these were matters for Sir Alan Budd and since John Gieve had asked for the report it would be a report to him in the first instance. Asked if Sir Alan would also look at the role of civil servants or if he was constrained to looking at the visa matter the PMOS said that Sir Alan Budd would report within his terms of reference. The PMOS said it was a matter for Sir Alan to interrupt his terms of reference and a matter for the Home Office to talk about his terms of reference not for him to. In response to the suggestion that the Prime Minister had said, at his monthly press conference, that if people raised other issues that Sir Alan would look at them the PMOS said that said it was still a matter for Sir Alan.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Burglary/Home Intruders

Asked if the Government intended to obstruct the Private Members Bill to allow householders to use all necessary means the PMOS said, as he had said in the morning, people should first of all recognise that the law already allowed the defence of "reasonable force" to be used. However what it did not allow was an "active retaliation". However if there was confusion about that it was obviously an issue that did need to be clarified. There was already a murder review being conducted in the Home Office and no doubt this was an issue that would be considered as part of it. As Lord Falconer had indicated this morning he believed we were talking about an issue of clarification for this process. The Government's attitude would be dictated by what it believed was a genuine area for concern but as he had said the law already clearly allowed a defence by reasonable force. If that was not clear to people then that was an issue to address.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Pakistan

Asked if the Prime Minister had mentioned anything about Pakistan's movements towards democracy the PMOS said that the issue had been discussed and the position was as he had set out earlier today.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Civil Service Pensions

Asked why the Government was considering making huge cuts in Pensions for Civil Servants and Public Sector workers ahead of a general election at a time when they were the people whom the Prime Minister repeatedly said were on the front line delivering the reforms the PMOS that it was best if we waited for the consultation document to be published when we could then have a rational debate. As such it was not sensible to get into these questions in advance of that.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

PM’s Christmas Card

Asked if there was anymore information about the Prime Minister's Christmas Card, for example why there was no Christmas symbolism and how many were sent out the PMOS said that some cards had "Best Wishes for the New Year" some cards had "Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year" and on some of them the Christmas greetings were left out because of the religious symbolism involved. This was standard diplomatic practice followed by all Prime Ministers for the past 20 years.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Christmas Card

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that PA has been given a copy of the Prime Minister's Christmas card that would be sent out this year.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Northern Ireland

Asked what the latest news about the Belfast talks was, the PMOS said we were still aiming for the middle of this week. The parties were reflecting on their positions, and would come back with their responses when they were ready.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

David Blunkett

Asked if the latest series of allegations towards David Blunkett were not going to provide a distraction in his job, the PMOS said the position had not changed one iota since he spoke to journalists last week.

Asked if Sir Alan Budd was likely to report this week, the PMOS said it was a matter for Sir Alan Budd.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Middle East

Asked if the Prime Minister would be visiting the Middle East in January, and whether there was any further development on a Middle East conference, the PMOS replied all such talk was premature. The next step was the process of the Palestinian elections, and helping those proceed.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

President Musharraf

Asked what was on the agenda for the Prime Minister's meeting with President Musharraf later today, the PMOS said that counter-terrorism, Iraq, and Afghanistan were all issues that would be brought up. In terms of an overall issue, the government was immensely grateful for the position he had taken against terrorism in Afghanistan, and towards democracy in Iraq. In terms of the situation in Pakistan, the important question was, was Pakistan still moving in the right direction, and our answer was yes, it was. President Musharraf was aware of our position on moving towards full democracy, so it would not come as a surprise to him.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (216)

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