Asked if the Prime Minister was planning to leave the G8 early to go to Singapore, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that it was the other way round. He would go to Singapore first to meet IOC members and then he would travel to the G8 Summit. Singapore would be before the G8. Asked if he would just be there for glad-handing, as he could not stay for the presentation, the PMOS said it was not about glad-handing. We were going for this in a big way and the Prime Minister would be going to reaffirm the Government’ s commitment to the bid. As he had said at PMQs he believed that this bid had been done in a very professional way, that Lord Coe and his team had led it in a very professional way. They had demonstrated that technically it was a very good bid and technically we were capable of holding the games. They also had demonstrated that there was real public enthusiasm behind the bid and what the PM would be doing was reaffirming to IOC members the Government’s commitment to supporting the bid up to the hilt. He could not be there for the presentation but by that stage his job would be done. The Prime Minister would in fact be in the air when the decision would be announced. As people knew he had to get back for the Gleneagles Summit.
He would not miss the start of the Gleneagles Summit, as the host he would be there for the start. Just to underline the point, Gleneagles was an important event in its own right. Particularly because of the emphasis we had put on Africa and Climate Change.
Asked for the travel timings, the PMOS said the decision would be made on the 6th July, and working back from that we would be in Singapore for approximately two days where he would hold meetings. It would very much be a working visit where he would be meeting people to convince them of the Government’s commitment to the bid. There were a limited numbers of places for journalists in Singapore but what we were negotiating for was that for those who would be attending Singapore and Gleneagles we would try to accommodate them on the trip. It would, however, only be for those who were covering both events.
Asked at what stage had he decided to travel and whether it was after President Chirac had said he would be going, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had said at the time of the IOC bid team’s visit that he would do everything he physically could to support the bid. It was at that stage that we began to explore going to Singapore. What other people did was a matter for them. What we had to concentrate on was demonstrating as a country that we were 100% behind this bid. The Prime Minister believed that given the commitment, effort, thought and work done by Lord Coe and his team, everybody, including himself, should do what they could to support the bid.
Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news
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