» Monday, January 16, 2006

Sex Offenders/Education

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) announced that Ruth Kelly, would, with the Speaker's permission, report back to Parliament on the issue of Sex Offenders on Thursday. Asked if the Government believed that Ruth Kelly had misled the House last Thursday by claiming that those on List 99 were automatically banned for life, when in fact the list came with caveats, the PMOS said that the Government did not believe she had misled the House. 

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked about the London meeting on Iran, the PMOS said that this meeting was a signal of the growing international concern at the behaviour of the Iranian Government and also at the words of the Iranian President. That was reflected in the statement of the E3 last week and also in the meeting between President Bush and Chancellor Merkel. Our hope was that the IAEA board would support a referral to the United Nations but we should see what happened. Asked about Iran's threat to raise oil prices if they were referred to the Security Council, the PMOS said that as Angela Merkel had said in Washington, the international community would not be intimidated by Iran and therefore if that was Iran was trying to they were mistaken.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Court Reform

Asked about proposals to remove the responsibility for dealing with people who pleaded guilty to an offence from the Courts, the PMOS said that this matter was being reviewed by the DCA. That review was being carried out in the spirit of updating our system to make sure it worked efficiently, effectively and fairly. No decision had been taken but again these were legitimate questions which were being asked. Asked if victims should be allowed to have their day in court, the PMOS stressed said that we were only talking about minor offences and therefore it was legitimate to ask whether theses things could be dealt with in a different way. Put to him that these minor offences weren't so minor to the victims of such offences, the PMOS said that what people wanted was to see justice to be done, first of all, and secondly for justice to be done speedily and effectively. Let us wait for the outcome of the review.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Other business

Asked how John Hutton could start the debate on pensions if Lord Turner had already done so, the PMOS said that Lord Turner had provided the agenda that we now had to address. It was important that we all understood the questions that were being posed before we tried to formulate the precise answers and take those answers through Parliament. There was a need to understand the background to the issue. Asked if the fact we were starting a debate indicated that the Government didn't actually know what it was going to do yet, the PMOS said that that was a very cynical view. Clearly we had been thinking about this issue, but we also thought that the country as a whole needed to think about this issue.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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