Prime Minister Summons
Asked if there was any information on an alleged summons being served on the Prime Minister to appear at Weymouth County Court on Tuesday next week in the case of a woman refusing to pay part of her tax bill following the death of her son-in-law in Iraq, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) said she knew nothing about the issue.
Asked how long the EU Council meeting was likely to go on for, the PMOS asked if the question was trying to determine how many shirts he'd packed! The PMOS said the honest answer was they were not going to have a sense of how long this summit was going to be until tomorrow afternoon. As the Prime Minister said in Paris, our assessment remained that it looked difficult. The PMOS said that the sensible, but not necessarily the easiest thing to do, was to wait and see where we were tomorrow on the financing issue. With regards the Constitution, our sense was of the growing acceptance that the sensible way forward was to have a pause for reflection. Again, however, we would listen to the discussions tonight in Brussels.
Asked why Charles Clarke was so confident that the cost of the ID cards would be nearer £93, bearing in mind the track record of government computer projects, rather than the £300 that had been projected by the LSE, the PMOS said that because there had been problems regarding certain computer systems, people should not assume therefore that there were problems with this particular system. As Charles Clarke said, the important thing was that we had not been in the position, as we had not been supplied with the figures, to be able to examine the LSE figure in detail. The figures, however, that Charles Clarke had used were the result of intensive work that was done in the Home Office. Therefore, people should not assume they were comparing like with like.
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