Revised Security Regime at Airports
Asked how the security announcement would be handled, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said we should wait for the announcement by the Department of Transport at midday. Asked if there would be anything unexpected in the announcement, the PMOS said we would most likely see a limited relaxation in terms of what people can take on board an aeroplane, but what people should not expect was a complete lifting of restrictions.
Statistics Commission Letter to DfES
Put that the letter from the Commission clearly indicated the political advisers in the Department for Education & Skills (DfES) had put pressure on the statistician, and that this was something we thought had been stopped, the PMOS disagreed with journalists. He said the Statistics Commission had confirmed it was the DfES chief statistician who took the decision to publish the results and no one else. The PMOS said it had also been confirmed that publication took place on the earliest possible date, and this decision was consistent with the national statistics code of practice. Equally the Commission had recommended changes in procedures and DfES said they would consider these recommendations very carefully.
Asked if the Prime Minister supported the Attorney General's view on intercept evidence, the PMOS said there had been a misunderstanding. We had always been of the view that if it was possible to use intercept evidence in court in a way that it did not put at risk or jeopardize security service personnel and sources then that was something that should be very seriously looked at. The problem however, was in ensuring that it did not put security service sources at risk. Therefore we continued to examine that tension because the Prime Minister was absolutely clear we would not jeopardise the work of our security services.
Asked if there had been any contact from the Metropolitan Police yet, the PMOS said he had nothing new to say on the subject. Asked if Lord Levy was still the Prime Minister's Middle East envoy, the PMOS said he remained an advisor to the Prime Minister on the Middle East. The PMOS pointed journalists to the important role that he had played on the recent visit to the region.
Asked for a reaction to the forthcoming handover of Dhi Qar province in Iraq, the PMOS said that it showed more process. The democratically elected government of Iraq was taking control of Iraq where it was possible. The people who would decide the pace at which that went was the democratic government of Iraq.
Asked if the Prime Minister had been briefed on hurricane Gordon, the PMOS said the Prime Minister, like all of us, had a keen interest in the weather, though for some reason, he suspected the question was about more than the weather.
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