» Friday, April 21, 2006

Queen’s Birthday Gift

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) confirmed to journalists that the Queen had received her gift from the Cabinet. Asked what the present was, the PMOS said it was a tea set from Spode, Britain oldest pottery company based in Staffordshire. It was a Staffordshire flowers style tea set, something that the Palace had indicated that the Queen would specifically like. Asked if it was correct that the Cabinet had put in £30 each, the PMOS said that he had been brought up to believe that it was very rude to leave a price tag on presents. Asked who had presented it to the Queen, the PMOS said that it had been conveyed in the normal way. The Cabinet had wanted to give the Queen something that she would value and the Palace had indicated that this was something she would want and like.

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

Mrs Blair’s Hairdresser

Asked what the arrangements were regarding Mrs Blair's hairdresser on official business, the PMOS said that he would not be getting into today's specific story as it was a party matter. All he would point out was that he had addressed and dealt with this issue repeatedly when asked on various trips and the answer had always been the same - Mrs Blair met the costs, full stop. Asked if he was saying that there had been no instances where the taxpayer had paid for the hairdresser's services, the PMOS said that we had given an answer on each occasion and journalists could go back and check them for themselves. Asked if that was the full fare, the PMOS repeated that we had dealt with this on each appropriate occasion and they could look back in their notes to check. Asked about the recent Australia trip, the PMOS said that he had been asked at the start of the trip and we had indicated that Mrs Blair had met the costs.

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


Asked to comment on the FT report suggesting that the IEA report saying that nuclear was a good thing was good for the Prime Minister, the PMOS said that Malcolm Wicks was heading up an energy review that would report in the not too distant future. It was considering all the arguments. The PM had been quite open in setting out the arguments for why we needed a mix of energy sources.

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


Asked to comment on the view being expressed that Iraq was on the verge of civil war, the PMOS said that he was not going to respond to a member of the opposition in a specific way. However he was happy to repeat the Government's view, which was that for the first time we had seen truly democratic elections in Iraq. There was an ongoing process to form a government. That government, like its predecessor, needed to be given the security in which to make the politics work. The existing transitional government had indicated that it wanted us to stay to help finish that job and we were prepared to do so.

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

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