» Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Asked if the estimate of the death toll in Iraq and the bombs today suggested that the surge was not working, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said the evidence on the ground in Baghdad is that progress is being made but there are also determined efforts being made to counter that progress and that was also expected at this period.  The reality in fact, in Iraq, is that there is a democratically elected Government and there are people trying to thwart the will of that democratically elected government.  The PMOS added what the Prime Minister believes is that we should support the government as it tries to take control of the country, as it is doing in Maysan today.

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


Asked, when the Prime Minister had said that it was a pity that Blackpool did not get the super casino or the consequential regeneration, if that suggested that there may be another casino planned for Blackpool, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister also said was that there was a review of what should happen next but there was a commitment in terms of when the legislation was going through that only one super casino would be announced in this Parliament.  In terms of what happens next we have to wait for the outcome of the review.

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

PM’s resignation

Asked that when the Prime Minister said that he would comment on a successor when he made his announcement to step down was that a clear statement of an endorsement at the same time, the PMOS said that the reporter was right to note the significance of what the Prime Minister said but he would rather not give a commentary on it.

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


Asked what the Prime Minister would be saying on Darfur this afternoon, the PMOS said that the base would be what the Prime Minister said in Berlin which was his very firm view was that President Bashir was playing the international community.  President Bashir appeared to agree to what the international community has said should happen and then when attention moves elsewhere he goes back on what he has said.  That is what has happened and the Prime Minister believes that this is precisely the time when the pressure should be maintained and that if necessary the Prime Minister's personal view is that should include a no fly zone.  But what the Prime Minister is conscious of s that it needs international agreement to move forward.  The Prime Minister is of the firm view, which is echoed by others, that President Bashir is not complying with what he had previously agreed. 

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


Asked if, following on from what the Secretary of State for Trade had said in the House of Commons this afternoon, that last Friday had been the first time the Government was aware that body parts from the post mortems of Sellafield employees had retained, the PMOS said that he was not going to speak for the departments as he had not checked but he was not aware of anything that suggested anything other than that. 

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

Human Rights

Put that Tony McNulty had said this morning that the two terror suspects who had escaped last year from their control orders were still on the run, and that he had no information about the well being of those who were sent back to Algeria under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) basis, and was the Prime Minister worried about it all, as the Government had promised to keep tabs on individuals who were returned under the MOU, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said that with regards to the first part of the question, as we had said a the time, it was a matter for the police and the authorities who were looking for the two people. With regards to the second part, we had reached an agreement with Algeria, and our clear understanding was that Algeria would meet and observe those agreements. The PMOS added that journalists should check with the FCO for the precise details of the agreement.

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


Asked why the Prime Minister did not vote last night, the PMOS replied that as the result showed, there was never any doubt about the result, and it was not normal for the Prime Minister to vote on such occasions.

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

Maysan Province

Asked for further information about the handover of Maysan Province, the PMOS said that this was the third of the four provinces to be transferred to the Iraqis, across Iraq as a whole. The UK forces had been in a backup role since August.

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


Asked what the Prime Minister's view on Liam Byrne's view was about the damage that mass immigration had done to society, the PMOS replied that this had to be put in context. Migration had also been of huge benefit to the UK in terms of providing skilled labour and that had been backed up by employers organisations. If people looked at the job vacancies in the labour market, they remained very much part of the context of this.

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


Asked if the Prime Minister was going to hold a party for the England cricket team when they arrived home from the Caribbean, the PMOS replied that he was not aware of any plans to do. He suspected that in Dublin, however, there would be some...!

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

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