Asked if the Prime Minister expected compensation to be paid to the family of the Brazilian man shot on Friday, the PMOS replied that it was a matter for further consideration and for the relevant authorities.
Asked for further information on Jack Straw’s meeting with the Brazilian Foreign Minister, the PMOS said the key thing was that the Foreign Secretary had spoken to Celso Amorim yesterday. This was a pre-planned visit, so it was not right to say it was an emergency meeting. As Jack Straw said yesterday, we deeply regretted what had happened and we had explained the context in which it occurred.
Asked for further information on where the Government was on the use of intercept evidence and also what it thought about the extension of detainees to three months, the PMOS said that as the Prime Minister outlined last week, he in principle was in favour of using intercept evidence. What he had to be guided by, however, were the views of the police and the security services. It was obviously a matter that needed to be discussed further with the leaders of the Opposition Parties tomorrow. With regards to other matters that may come up at the meeting tomorrow, some of them would be concerning legislation which the Home Office had discussed with their counterparts, whilst others were more medium and long-term and on which further thought would continue over the summer.
Asked if there was any further thought to recall Parliament over the summer, or would it be "business as usual", the PMOS replied that there was a balance to be struck between showing that these attacks would not change our way of life, whilst at the same time ensuring that everything was done that needed to be done to properly respond to them in security terms. That was what would guide us on a number of issues, and one of those was the issue of Parliament. There were no plans to recall Parliament at the moment, but we would be guided by not only the advice of the police and security services, but also by our desire to maintain a consensus, as we had done up to this point with the Opposition about how we progressed.
Asked for further clarification regarding the proposed detainee extension to three months, the PMOS said that it was an issue that would be thought about, and we needed to reflect on it. The issues raised at Thursday’s meeting would be considered over the summer, and the Opposition parties would be consulted about their views.
Put to the PMOS that if, as he had said, terrorism should not prevent our way of life, how should people relate to the shooting on Friday, the PMOS said he did not want to get drawn into a particular case which was being investigated by the IPCC as was proper. What we did have to appreciate was that deeply regrettably, we were in a different place in terms of the challenges that the police faced. These were, in our experience, unique circumstances, and what we therefore had to recognise was that those circumstances posed unique challenges, which had to then be decided by the police as to how they responded. The police had set out their reasoning. We had to evolve our thinking about how we dealt with those issues.
Asked if there were going to be Cabinet meetings over the summer, the PMOS said Ministers would meet when they needed to. There would be the usual contact between departments as and when was necessary. There was no set pattern, but rather whenever was needed.
Asked if the change in policy regarding the shoot-to-kill issue had been approved by with the Secretary of State or a Minister, or was it a purely operational decision made by the Met police, the PMOS advised the journalist contacted the Home Office in terms of the procedure. Our approach was that these were operational decisions. It did come down to a split second decision, and what the police believed to be the threat, not only to themselves, but also to the public in the surrounding area. That was what was unique about these circumstances.
Put to the PMOS that the meetings the Prime Minister was having later this week were all with countries who had suffered terrorist attacks recently, and was that the reason for meeting with them, the PMOS said that the unfortunate fact was that terrorism had struck many different countries and the terrorist threat was there. Therefore, each of these meetings was relevant to the subject, but that was not the initial reason of the meeting.
Put to the PMOS that a poll this morning showed that eighty five per cent of people thought that Iraq had contributed to the reason behind London bombs and although Jack Straw had "softened his line" on the issue, did the Prime Minister feel the same, the PMOS said he did not agree with the analysis posed. The PMOS said that last week, when he was asked the same question, he said we did not know what motivated the people who carried out the bombs. Equally, the Prime Minister had said that of course people would use Iraq as an excuse, but the key point was it was not the root cause of this kind of terrorism. Rather, the root cause stretched much further back, and John Howard spelt that out when he visited Downing Street last week. It was therefore the distinction between what was something that people used as an excuse, whether it was Afghanistan, or Iraq, versus something that was a root cause.
Asked whether the Prime Minister’s holiday would make Britain more or less likely to become a target, the PMOS said the question was a hypothetical one, and he was not going to get involved in it, nor was he going to discuss the Prime Minister’s holiday plans.
Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news
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