» Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Foreign Prisoners

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) confirmed to journalists, as advised last Friday, that the Home Secretary would report back to the House of Commons on further progress in tracking down foreign prisoners that should have been considered for deportation. The Home Secretary would make a statement to that effect tomorrow. Put that it had previously been suggested that it would be on Friday, the PMOS said that was not the case. Asked if it was tomorrow so the Prime Minister could avoid difficult questions about it, the PMOS said that was categorically not the case.

The Home Secretary had on Friday made it clear that he would return to the House with a further report as soon as he was in a position to do so. As was the right and proper thing to do. Asked if it was Downing Street who had thought the end of the week was too far away, the PMOS said that there was always a desire on the one hand to get the facts right and on the other a desire to update the House as soon as possible. Tomorrow was the happy meeting place where those desires aligned.

Asked what the correct version was of whether or not Charles Clarke had offered to resign, the PMOS referred journalists to the press briefing note from last week where he had rightly stated that the Home Secretary had, in a meeting about another matter, had a brief conversation with the Prime Minister in the margins in which they had discussed resignation. The Prime Minister had agreed that the Home Secretary was the right person to carry this work forward not least because he had initiated it.

Asked if the Prime Minister’s view would change if there were any more offenders identified, the PMOS said that the key word was "if" and, as they all knew he did not answer hypotheticals. Asked if there was any response to Civitas report suggesting that if they were not caught they would go on to commit 700 crimes, the PMOS said no.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Search for related news

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