» Thursday, February 3, 2005

Michael Howard

Asked if arrangements had been made for the Prime Minister to meet Michael Howard yet, the PMOS said no, diaries had not yet been synchronised. Asked if it was fair to say that Prime Minister was not prepared to reconsider the issue, the PMOS said that as he had said yesterday, first of all it was the Leader of the Opposition who asked for the meeting and the Prime Minister agreed. There would be a proper discussion. Equally we had not arrived at our position either lightly or over-night. It had been part of careful consideration of how on the one hand we responded to the House of Lords ruling and on the other hand balance the needs of individual liberty with those of national security. That was what had driven our proposals and that was why we had taken the approach we had. In terms of the issue of intercepts, there had been in total half a dozen reviews of the use of intercepts. All of which had looked at the issue of whether intercept could be submitted in court. All of these had come to the conclusion on the advice of the agencies and professionals in the field, that to do so would risk sources of material. That was why we had reached that conclusion. Asked if the Government was bound by the Law Lords’ ruling, the PMOS said that we did have to respond to the view that the existing position was incompatible with the ECHR, and to that extent we did have to respond.

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

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