» Monday, March 12, 2007


Asked if a new Deputy Leader to the House of Commons had been appointed, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that a new appointment had not been made.  Asked if the Prime Minister had sent a letter in reply to Nigel Griffiths, the Prime Minister replied that he was sure that at some stage we would send a letter.  Asked if the Prime Minister intended to appoint a replacement at some stage, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister would take his time.

Asked if the Prime Minister was disappointed or concerned that Nigel Griffiths felt so strongly over the issue that he felt he had to resign, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister had set out the fundamental issue underlining Trident.  Given the lead time it would take to develop a new submarine class, the decision would have to be taken this year.  If the decision was not made this year, then in fact the decision was being taken the other way.  Either way the decision had to be made.  The Prime Minister’s fundamental point was that given the uncertainty in the world, he did not believe that this was the time for Britain to stop having the nuclear safeguard.

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that he had not been able to convince more of his own MPs, the PMOS replied that answering this would take him into the party sphere.  But he could say that the Prime Minister recognised that there were those who, for several reasons, always had a principal objection to the nuclear deterrent.  The Prime Minister believed however, that on balance Britain should have a nuclear deterrent.  And that with the uncertainty in the world, where we had a situation where rogue states appeared to be trying to acquire this technology, now was precisely not the time to take the decision not to have nuclear weapons at some point in the future.

Asked if the Prime Minister had received resignations from any other members of the Government, the PMOS replied that he was not aware of any more resignations.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

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