» Thursday, November 3, 2005

Terror Bill

Asked what the Prime Minister felt after Cabinet this morning about the state of the Government, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Prime Minister had acknowledged this morning that times were tough, but they were tough because the Government was trying to do the right thing. That was on the public reform agenda and on counter-terrorism. Both he and the Home Secretary had repeated their full support for the police's view that the case for 90 days was compelling. Asked why times were tough, the PMOS said times were tough because the Government was doing things which were radical, which therefore stirred controversy, but which the Prime Minister believed were both the right thing to do and also what the Government had been elected to do. The Prime Minister had always thought that it would be tough getting these measures through but he believed they were the right thing to do. Put to him that it was Labour MPs who were standing against the Prime Minister and presumably had claim to the same mandate as him, the PMOS said that he did not want to get involved in discussing party matters.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (7)

Terror Bill

Asked for further clarification about the unequivocal view from the police, the PMOS said that if people were aware of the briefing given by Andy Hayman earlier this week, he expressed that view. Mr. Hayman said that the belief that 90 days was right was not a bartering tool or negotiating ploy. The PMOS reiterated why the police believed that 90 days was correct, and this was a case that had been looked at, and supported by Lord Alex Carlisle, who was an independent figure. The reason was that the police and the CPS said that change was necessary because of the greater use of encrypted computers by terrorists, for example. In one case, the material on a computer's hard-drive disc was equal to 60,000 feet when printed out. Equally, the increasingly international nature of terrorist networks posed a greater language difficulty, and a greater need to gather evidence from abroad. Terrorist networks were increasingly complicated, and also, the police had said they needed six to eight weeks to analyse material found in a rubbish dump in Dewsbury. The comparison would have filled eight Olympic sized swimming pools. This was a graphic illustration of the kind of complexities the police now faced when trying to investigate these cases. The PMOS said that as the Home Secretary said yesterday, we were willing to listen to other people's views, but the questions that people had to address were given those problems and complexities, how would they then meet the needs of the police in trying to meet the new kind of terrorism that we faced.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

The Cabinet

Asked if the Prime Minister had underlined the fact that the Labour party had been elected on a series of manifesto pledges on service reform, and he was expected to deliver, the PMOS said he did not want to get involved in Party matters. It was implicit in what the Prime Minister had said to Cabinet that the Prime Minister believed he was elected on a certain platform, and it was the duty of the Government to deliver not only the investment in public services, but also deal with issues such as terrorism.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Domestic violence

Asked what the Prime Minister thought about domestic violence, the PMOS said he thought it was a bad thing.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked if a reshuffle had been discussed in Cabinet, the PMOS said it had not been. The position had not changed since yesterday afternoon.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked if Iran had been discussed in Cabinet, the PMOS said that Jack Straw had made a presentation to colleagues on the present situation.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

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