» Thursday, May 25, 2006

Freedom of Information Disclosure Statement

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) set out that the disclosure statement on the Iraq legal advice was a response to the Information Commissioner's notice. Essentially there was nothing very new here, but it was decided that because Channel 4 had published a leaked copy of the Attorney General's advice of 7 March during the General Election last year that we would make this response. The Commissioner himself had accepted that this did not in any way set a precedent. It was largely academic. As a reminder the 7 March advice was the Attorney General weighing up the pros and cons, by the 17 March, when he gave his final advice, the situation had changed. It had become clear that we were not going to get a second UN resolution and it in turn became clear that the Attorney General had to give a decision, yes or no. As the Attorney General had stressed himself, he had come to that view independently and that the answer was yes it was legal.

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

Pensions White Paper

The PMOS explained that the Prime Minister had, in Cabinet and in his remarks to the press in the street, described the Pensions White Paper published today as a landmark process. It was about reaching a consensus that would last not just one generation but several generations. It was the result of an independent report that the government had commissioned. What it tried to do was address the very real challenges which the changes in the demographics of this country and every country had to face up to. The Prime Minister had also pointed out in Downing Street that we now had a real chance to reach a genuine consensus as a nation about how we met those challenges and he believed that was a very important moment.

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

President Bush talks

The PMOS explained that the Prime Minister and the President would discuss the full range of issues that you would expect: trade, the DOHA round was at an important stage; Iran, which was also at an important stage, MEPP following Prime Minister Olmert's visit to Washington; but the Prime Minister's main message would be the impressions he had taken away from his visit to Iraq. To get a feel for that journalists could read the transcript of the Prime Minister's interview, last night, with Al Jazeera as the Prime Minister's main message was summed up in that interview. It was that, we, looking in on Iraq should not disenfranchise the people of Iraq by refusing to recognise the wishes of the Iraqi people as represented by their democratically elected government. That meant in terms of our presence there recognising that no member of the government that the Prime Minister had met there had asked for us to withdraw immediately. They certainly did not want us to stay forever, but we did not want that either. What they wanted was a steady transfer of control as Iraqi forces were ready. This would be what the Prime Minister would discuss this evening. He would also discuss the need for the international community as a whole, including through the UN, to get behind the democratically elected government of Iraq and support it. This meant restoring and improving it's economy because even though that economy had grown by 10% this year it still had a lot of infrastructure improvements to be made. In addition as it guarded itself against the deliberate attempt by terrorists to destroy it he would say there was no excuse within the international community not to come behind a democratically elected government in Iraq.

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

Offical Residences

Asked for an update on official residences such as Chevening, the PMOS said that he had clarified this yesterday and without reopening old wounds for the Independent their political editor had, himself, said that the diary story had been wrong. It had been announced on the day of the reshuffle that Jack Straw would be moving out and Chevening would continue it's traditional relationship with the Foreign Office. Asked about Admiralty House, the PMOS said that his estate agent powers only stretched so far. Journalists should consult the relevant departments.

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

» Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Football Reception

Asked what the reception was about, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that it was for UNICEF/Socceraid and guests would be the Socceraid players and UNICEF representatives.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Home Office

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that John Reid would be sending a letter to the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee about some of the evidence that he gave yesterday.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Mrs Blair

Asked by ITN whether Mrs Blair was going to apologise for signing a copy of the Hutton report, the PMOS said that it had been at a Labour Party related event so it would be wrong for him to comment.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Washington trip

Asked what the Prime Minister might discuss with President Bush and what was likely to be in his speech, the PMOS said that they would discuss the Doha round of trade talks, the Middle East Peace Process, particularly after Prime Minister Olmert's visit to Washington yesterday, and Iran. The starting point of the speech would be the Prime Minister's impressions from Baghdad this week and the implications for the international community to come behind the democratically elected government of Iraq. The theme of the speech would come out of Iraq to talk about how you applied the global values that the Prime Minister had spoken about in his speech in Australia and to develop his thinking in terms of how the institutions of the world needed to be updated from how they were designed immediately after World War II immediately into the modern setting, to deal with modern challenges.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

President Mbeki

Asked what the Prime Minister had discussed with the President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, the PMOS said that part of it was about the joint launch of the plan to help Southern Africa as a whole in terms of trade. However they would also cover issues such as trade, where South Africa was one of the main players in terms of negotiations on a WTO level, also the Middle East where South Africa traditionally had links with the Palestinian side and so on. He expected Zimbabwe would also come up in some way.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Chevening

Asked why Jack Straw was keeping Chevening, the PMOS said that he was not. Even the Independent's political editor said their diary had been wrong. For the record it had been agreed on the day of the reshuffle that Jack Straw would leave and Margaret Beckett would take over given Chevening's traditional relationship with the Foreign Office. Asked if Jack Straw would now share Dorneywood, the PMOS said there were no plans for him to do so.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...

Search


May 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Apr   Jun »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Supported by

mySociety.org

Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings


Archives

Links

Syndicate (RSS/XML)

Credits

Enquiries

Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh