» Tuesday, November 8, 2005

90 Days

Asked if the Prime Minister had been working on or seeing people in respect of the 90 days aspect of the legislation today, the PMOS said that the Home Secretary and the Home Office were leading the main effort. As such it was the Home Secretary who was primarily taking the lead in seeing people. The Prime Minster would do whatever he had to do, but it was right that the Home Secretary continued to take that lead role. Asked about the dismay John Denham MP had expressed on the radio this morning about the lack of preparation for the Bill’s passage and the party politicisation of the issue, the PMOS said, as he had this morning, he did not want to get into a dingdong with John Denham and as such would keep his remarks general. The proposal for 90 days came from the police. It was not a Prime Ministerial or Government proposal. It came from the police. The Prime Minister had made it clear that it was because this was the professional advice of the police that he was supporting it so strongly. Therefore what we were doing was supporting the police not imposing on the police an agenda that they did not support. We were following their lead. In terms of an evidence based assessment the PMOS referred journalists to the letter from Andy Hayman published on the 5th October and again yesterday. This had set out in detail why the professional police’s view was that 90 days was necessary. That letter was also supported by ACPO, Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, other Chief Constables and Lord Carlile. There had been quiet a considerable amount of thought and expertise put into this.

Asked if the was no possibility of the Government withdrawing the 90 days, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had said that anything less than 90 days would not be in the security interests of the country and this would guide us in what we did. Put to him that Sir Ian Blair had told journalists that 120 days would be even better, the PMOS said that the advice that we had been given from the police in the security meetings following 7/7 had been for 90 days.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Search for related news

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