» Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Queen’s Birthday present

Asked if Cabinet were "having a whip round" for The Queen’s birthday present, and were they contributing individually, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said that the Cabinet had contributed, and they would contribute as a whole to the present. The PMOS said he was not going to detail what the present was today, as it was a bit rude to spoil the surprise in advance.

Asked if the PMOS recognised the figure £30 as a contribution, the PMOS said that we had obviously co-ordinated this with the Palace, and the appropriateness of the present was decided in line with the wishes of the Palace. The Queen wanted this birthday to be marked in a relatively low key way, and that was why the particular present was chosen.

Asked if the money from Cabinet had come from their own pocket, or had it come from expenses, the PMOS replied that he did not think that "Birthday present for The Queen" was something that could go on expenses.

Asked if "low key" meant cheap, the PMOS said that low key meant low key, and that was the wish of the Palace. The nature of the present reflected the wishes of The Queen.

Asked by the Times how the money was collected on behalf of the Cabinet, the PMOS said that there were processes for doing this.

Asked if everyone had given the same amount, the PMOS replied that the Cabinet had contributed as a whole.

Asked if anyone had not contributed, the PMOS replied that the Cabinet contributed as a whole.

Asked if the Deputy Prime Minister was particularly generous, the PMOS said again that the Cabinet contributed as a whole.

Asked if the present was going to be wrapped up, the PMOS replied that there were means of doing that, too, and we were very resourceful, but as always, it was a question of finding the sticky tape!

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

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