» Monday, July 24, 2006


Asked if the Government was now in favour of a ceasefire in Lebanon, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said as the Prime Minister said in his G8 statement to the Commons last Tuesday, quote: "of course we all want violence to stop and stop immediately, but we recognise that the only realistic way to achieve such a ceasefire is to address the underlying reasons why this violence has broken out." That has been the core element of the Government's approach since the beginning of the conflict. It was also the core element of the G8 statement issued last Monday afternoon which said that Israel must show utter restraint. Equally the attacks on Israel must also stop. All the way through we had wanted both sides to stop.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (5)


Asked for a reaction on the collapse of trade talks in Geneva, the PMOS replied that our view remained that we wanted to see progress made, but we recognised that it was difficult. Whilst we wanted to see progress made, the PMOS said that he was not sure that it was wise to get into saying who we believed was responsible. Rather, it was better to focus on whether there was any chance of making progress.

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

Prime Minister’s lecture

Asked further about the Prime Minister's lecture on Wednesday, the PMOS said that it was the second speech in the "Our Nation's Future" set, and it would focus on public services, and delivery. In terms of the GPs being on pharmaceutical premises, we wanted more flexibility in the way in which GPs and other services were delivered, but discussions on it were still ongoing.

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

» Friday, July 21, 2006

Deputy Prime Minister-Ministerial Code

Asked if the Prime Minister would now have an enquiry into whether the Deputy Prime Minister had breached the Ministerial Code, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that John Prescott had set out his position, which was that he had thanked Sir Philip Mawer for his report. Mr. Prescott had registered his stay at the ranch, and he recognised that the procedure for registering gifts needed to be improved. The facts were known and the Deputy Prime Minister had responded.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (5)

Middle East

Asked if the Prime Minister was aware of the damage happening to British interests in the Middle East by the Prime Minister not appearing to call for a ceasefire, even if in practice, no-one would follow it, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister had made clear from the beginning that he wanted the conflict to end. What people appeared to want him to do, however, was to call for a unilateral ceasefire. That might make people feel good for a few hours, but not only was it unlikely to have any impact, but also, a quick-fix solution would not deliver a sustainable peace in the Middle East. What we had to do was to go back to where Kofi Annan started from yesterday, which was a recognition that this problem did not start with Israel, but rather, it had started with unprovoked attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah. The central problem we had was that we had two groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, who whilst they were elected, did not abide by democratic standards. Not only did they maintain militias, but they used them irrespective of the views of others, and the case of Lebanon, irrespective of the view of the vast majority of the government, even though they were actually part of that government. It did seem to be a very familiar issue in that in 1982, Sinn Fein were first elected, but it was not until the IRA called the final ceasefire in 1998 that Sinn Fein became part of the political process that led to the Good Friday agreement.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

» Thursday, July 20, 2006

Middle East

Asked if we thought that the attacks on Hezbollah had backfired and did our opinions differ from those of the US on how much time Israel should be given, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman replied that as he had said yesterday, he was not going to give a running commentary on what Israel did or did not do. Our task was to try and put together a process that would bring about peace, and not just a quick-fix unilateral peace, but rather, a sustainable one. That was the process that we started at the G8, and it was the process that would go further forward tonight and tomorrow at the UN. It was also the process that would go further forward again when Dr. Rice visits the region. The PMOS said that that was where we kept our eyes focussed on, rather than giving a commentary on what others did.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Street crime

Put that the Prime Minister had "banged on enough" about street crime, so what had gone wrong, the PMOS replied that street crime was still 19% below what it was in 2001/2003 before the street crime initiative started. In terms of what had gone wrong, there was an issue to do with the thefts of Ipods, mobiles etc, but in terms of the broader perspective, it was still 19% below. There were issues that had to be addressed, and the Metropolitan police were responding with a series of initiatives, included fixed uniform patrols during peak times, high visibility controls in hot-spot areas, plain clothes officer patrols and dedicated robbery response units. Therefore, there was a response going on. The PMOS said that if people looked at the overall crime figures, they were showing that total recorded crime was down 1%.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Police interview

Asked if No10 had been approached by the No10 police, the PMOS said that in terms of the Prime Minister, the answer was: no, there was no change in the situation.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Forthcoming Business

Giving details of the week before the recess, the Leader said that on Monday, July 24, John Hutton would lead for the Government on the second reading of the Welfare Reform Bill which, he said, would be treated as a "carry over" measure and continue through into the next parliamentary session. He pointed out that there was a one-year time limit for getting measures through under the "carry over" principle. On Tuesday, MPs would debate a motion on the retirement of the Clerk of the House, followed by Lords amendments to the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (David Hanson). The final business would be a Motion for the summer recess adjournment.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

State Opening

The Leader said he had announced earlier today in a written ministerial statement that the Queen's Speech would take place on November 15.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | 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...


July 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jun   Aug »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh