» Monday, June 12, 2006

Sir Ian Blair

Asked why the Prime Minister still had had full confidence in Sir Ian Blair, the PMOS said the Prime Minister had remarked at his press conference that he was fully aware that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner had always been a difficult job whatever. The Prime Minister was fully aware that it was particularly difficult at a time when we were facing major terrorist threats. He believed that it was absolutely right for the police and security agencies to act on the basis of credible intelligence. Therefore the Prime Minister believed that it was right to express his support for Sir Ian Blair and his team.

It was important that we all recognised that there was a difficult job to do. There were difficult decisions to be taken, which were not black and white, they had to be balanced judgements. Therefore it was right and proper that you recognised those difficult decisions and supported them. The first thing that anybody would do if the police, for whatever reason, ducked one of those difficult decisions would be to criticise them for that. The police’s primary concern was public safety and as such they had to act on the basis of any credible intelligence in the interest of public safety. Sir Ian Blair had the Prime Minister’s full support.

Put that it was often said that a group within the police force just wanted Sir Ian Blair out, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister believed that this was a time when everyone needed to support all those on all sides of our security involved in protecting the public and that nothing should be done or said which in any way undermined the effort to maintain that public security.

Asked in that case what the Prime Minister thought of Tony McNulty’s less supportive comments, the PMOS said that Tony McNulty had in fact expressed his full support for Sir Ian Blair and the Prime Minister was more than happy to do likewise.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Search for related news

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