» 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.

Asked if the Prime Minister had received a call from David Blunkett who was reportedly ringing round cabinet colleagues and others the PMOS said that in terms of who David Blunkett called that was a matter for him and it was not our policy to brief on conversations between the Prime Minister and his ministers.

Asked if it was the Prime Minister’s intention to allow the Home Secretary to continue with this damaging private case while he still remained Home Secretary the PMOS said that private matters were private matters and legal matters were legal matters. As we had said all along we would distinguish between them and the Home Secretary’s public role.

Asked how the Prime Minister rated the ministerial capabilities of the Foreign Secretary the PMOS said the Prime Minister had expressed his admiration for how the Foreign Secretary did his job on many occasions.

Asked if there was someone who could check with about the timing of the report the PMOS said that the indication that he had had was that it was Sir Alan Budd’s express wish that no one give a running commentary on his inquiry so that he could carry it out it private.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news


  1. I am sure someone must have noticed before now your mistake in the 4th line of this piece: "The PMOS said it was a matter for Sir Alan to interrupt his terms of reference …", when you obviously meant "to interpret".

    If you have had this error pointed out, I am surprised that your mistake has not been rectified: if you have not, perhaps it would be a good idea to do it now!

    Comment by N.L. Booth — 10 Dec 2004 on 6:21 pm | Link
  2. Widescreen viewers eh!

    Comment by Colonel Mad — 10 Dec 2004 on 11:50 pm | Link
  3. Dear N L Booth
    Why not read the notes at the top of this websites Homepage, and follow the link to "know more" where you can see that the responsibility for the text lies with the source in No10, rather than this website. In this case "interrupt" still remains on the official "Government Press Briefings" site, so as civil servants never take inaccurate notes, it must be correct, albeit an interesting use of the English language.

    Comment by Red Robbo — 11 Dec 2004 on 9:46 am | Link

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