» Monday, February 19, 2007

House of Lords Reform

Asked what had prompted the Leader of the House to change his mind, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that this was a matter for the Leader of the House to brief on. We had made clear from the start that this was a matter for the House and for Parliament.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Gun Crime Summit

Put to him that he had mentioned this morning that a gun crime summit would take place in the next few weeks, but John Reid had since confirmed that it would take place on Thursday, the PMOS replied that this showed how much progress could be made in a few hours! Asked what happened, the PMOS replied that earlier today he was being cautious as it was proving difficult to get an early date that suited everybody, but we managed to get a date in the end.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (5)

Road Pricing

Asked what the Prime Minister would be saying in his reply to the 1,605,764 who had signed the road pricing petition, the PMOS replied that at the risk of stating the obvious, the journalist would have to wait until Wednesday. Pushed again for an answer, the PMOS replied that first and foremost, the Prime Minister welcomed the debate. The Prime Minster recognised that there were strong opinions on this issue, and that there were strong opinions even before the e-petition. All the e-petition did was give people the opportunity to express those strong opinions. Equally however, the Prime Minister believed that congestion was an issue that we could not do nothing about, we had to do something. That was why the Government was proposing the ten pilot schemes, to learn from the experience about what was possible and what was not possible. He also believed that whilst people felt strongly about this issue, if they rejected the way in which the Government was going, then the onus was on them to come up with positive alternatives. Just burying our heads in the sand and doing nothing about the problem was not an option.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (9)

Security Services Report

Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was fair that the Security Services could tap the phones of MSPs and MEPs, but not MPs, the PMOS replied that the conventions on this were laid down some time ago. The Government came to the position it had after serious consideration of the issue.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Health

Put to him that a poll in the Times this morning said that most doctors now believed that this Government essentially wasted tax payers money on reforms, and an internal Department of Health report said that 96% of officials in the Department had no faith in their leadership, which must mean the Security of State, and asked what was the PM's view on these, the PMOS replied that we should look not at polls but at the facts.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Operation SINBAD

Asked if there would be a Prime Ministerial statement now that Operation SINBAD had finished, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that as the Prime Minister had said yesterday, SINBAD had now been completed, and it was being assessed. What we had always said was that at some stage, there would be a statement, and that was still the case. In terms of the timing, people should wait and see.

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

Operation SINBAD

Asked if there would be a Prime Ministerial statement now that Operation SINBAD had finished, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that as the Prime Minister had said yesterday, SINBAD had now been completed, and it was being assessed. What we had always said was that at some stage, there would be a statement, and that was still the case. In terms of the timing, people should wait and see.

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

Operation SINBAD

Asked if there would be a Prime Ministerial statement now that Operation SINBAD had finished, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that as the Prime Minister had said yesterday, SINBAD had now been completed, and it was being assessed. What we had always said was that at some stage, there would be a statement, and that was still the case. In terms of the timing, people should wait and see.

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

Petitions

Asked how the Prime Minister would respond to the road pricing petition, the PMOS said that what the Prime Minister had indicated was that he fully welcomed this debate, as it was a debate that the UK needed to have about congestion. People had strong opinions regardless of whether there was an e-petition process or not, therefore, what was important was that we addressed those opinions as we attempted to come up with a solution. The PMOS said that if we did not do anything, then congestion would increase, and people had even stronger opinions about that. The Prime Minister would reply to the e-petitioners with an answer on the internet.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (7)

Gun Crime

Asked for clarification about jailing over 18 year olds for five years, the PMOS explained in terms of the legislation, it was introduced in January 2004 through the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The Act stated that unless there were exceptional circumstances, courts must impose a minimum sentence of three years for 16 to 17 year olds or five years for 18-plus year olds. However, the Court of Appeal judged in the Campbell case that the minimum sentence of five years in prison could not be imposed on 18 to 20 year olds, since to do so it said would conflict with the Powers of Criminal Court Act 2000. We were looking at that judgement, because the Prime Minister and the police's view was that we did need to be able to apply the penalty to those in that bracket. That would be part of the consideration given at the Gun Summit, which the Prime Minister referred to yesterday and which would take place in the next few weeks.

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

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