» Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Foreign Prisoners

Asked when the Prime Minister first heard that over 1000 foreign prisoners in the UK had been released rather than deported, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that what was important was that we had put our hands up and said that we recognised that what had happened was deeply regrettable to say the least. There was clearly a failure to deal with all the cases in the way they should have been dealt with. What was now important was that we had increased resources in this area, increasing the IND's caseworking capacity with an extra £2.7million allocated within IND to deal with foreign national prisoners. This would allow us to commence deportation proceedings 12 months before a prisoner was due for release to ensure that prisoners were removed from the country at the appropriate time. In recognition of how this problem arose, Charles Clarke has said that he would bring together the key players involved at least twice a year at ministerial level and quarterly at official level to create and take ownership of an effective strategy for dealing with these issues. We recognised there was a problem, we regretted that problem but we had set out a series of very practical steps to deal with it.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (6)

Tax Credits

Asked if the Prime Minister still had confidence in the tax credit system following recent criticism of its performance, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Prime Minister fully supported the Treasury's approach. In terms of giving tax credits to those who needed them, 6 million families including 10 million children had benefited from around £15billion of tax credits. Further measures had been introduced in the PBR to address the problems that had arisen. For detail however people should talk to the Treasury.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Families against the War

Asked if the Prime Minister would be meeting the Families Against the War group this week, the PMOS said there were established procedures for arranging such meetings. He had no doubt that if those procedures were followed there would be a suitable response.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked for a reaction to comments by the Iranian President concerning Israel, the PMOS said that he thought that everyone should read the Iranian president's comments because they underlined, once again, the reasons why we had to take the situation very seriously. These were not casual remarks made by somebody without power. These were remarks, repeatedly made by the Iranian president which were, in terms of the Holocaust, not only offensive and factually inaccurate but also were threatening to Israel. That was why we had to take the issues which were now before the UN very seriously. Mr ElBarradei would report this week on these issues and take them forward with due seriousness.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Egypt Bombings

Asked about the launch of a Government campaign to consumers to encourage healthier lifestyles, the PMOS said that it was a fact that in terms of the impact of health advice, those messages a teenager might receive in a shop were likely to have as much or perhaps even a bigger impact than messages elsewhere. Therefore it was important that we worked with the retail industry to deliver healthy messages. Supermarkets and other outlets were already responding in terms of messaging for a healthy lifestyle, not just in terms of what they sold but in the messages that were on the products they sold.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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