» Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Religious Hatred Bill Vote

Asked if the Prime Minister had full confidence in himself, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said the journalist got ten out of ten for effort! The answer, however, was obvious.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Iraq Casualties

Asked what the Prime Minister had to say to the families of those who had lost loved ones in Iraq; whether the Prime Minister would attend Gordon Pritchard's funeral; and how would he respond to claims that given he had had photo opportunities with troops in the Middle East now was the time to meet the families such as Rose Gentle who claimed she had been turned down two days ago, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that he could not comment on the particular request of Rose Gentle.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked if we were aware that the Prime Minister had met Gordon Pritchard when he was in Iraq in December, the PMOS said he was aware.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Religious Hatred Bill

Asked whether he could illuminate journalists further on what the Prime Minister had been doing at around 8.07pm last night, the PMOS thanked the Evening Standard for it's polite question, but the answer was no. We had been completely open in saying that these things happened. We wished it had not. There was no great mystery but he would not get into processology. Put to him that it was not an unreasonable request, the PMOS said that at this morning's briefing their BBC online colleague had provided a succinct and accurate summary of what had happened. His chosen phrase had been "cock-up".

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked what the Prime Minister's attitude was to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) investigation into rendition given that Jack Straw had confirmed it to Menzies Campbell, the PMOS said that it was entirely a matter for the ISC to decide what and when it investigated and what it's conclusion were.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if there was any kind of reaction to the Independent Monitoring Commission report (IMC), the PMOS said that what the IMC showed was that most of the signals and signs were positive. What that meant was a very significant change in terms of IRA activity. Just as it would be unreasonable for us to say that everything was perfect, so it was unreasonable for people to say that something significant had not occurred in relation to the IRA. People should read the report, and people should judge for themselves.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Police Amalgamation

Asked why the Prime Minister was now in favour of amalgamation when in 1995 he had spoken out against amalgamation of police forces, as it would remove local policing further from communities, the PMOS said that first of all people should await the outcome of the decision making process. Second he referred journalists to the Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary report (HMIC). Thirdly it was more than 10 years since the Prime Minister had made those remarks in opposition and sadly we were all living in a very different policing environment now.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Mark Thatcher

Asked to comment on the Guardian story on page 12 about Mark Thatcher's business dealings with a construction company in Oman, and if this was to happen to the Prime Minister's family today, would he resign over it, the PMOS said until the journalist disclosed the fact at the end that it was involving Mrs. Thatcher, he was getting more worried as the journalist went on! He said that it was unwise for him to comment on past Prime Ministers, but he thanked the journalist for the relief he felt at the end of the question, if not for the rest!

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

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