» Monday, April 23, 2007

Boris Yeltsin

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) gave journalists some words from the Prime Minister regarding the death of former President Boris Yeltsin. The Prime Minister said that:

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

Iraq/Challenger Tank

Asked how great was the concern that a Challenger tank was penetrated in the latest attack in Basra, the PMOS said that we obviously tried everything we could to protect our troops as best we could in a operational environment. Beyond that, the PMOS said that he did not want to comment further in case it made their lives more difficult.

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

EU Treaty

Asked what the UK's position on new arrangements of the EU 27 was, the PMOS replied that what the Prime Minister had said when he was with the Dutch Prime Minister last week was that what we should aim for was an amending treaty, rather than a treaty that had the elements of a constitution. What that meant was that this would be a treaty which like all the treaties there had been in the EU of that nature, did not seek to replace all the existing treaties, but rather, added amendments to allow it to work for 27, rather than for 15 or for 6. That meant that there would be a President, but that President was simply a Chair of the EU Council, and did not have independent powers. The same caveats would apply to the foreign representative, whatever that foreign representative was called, bearing in mind that in Javier Solana, there was already was such a person. We had to take into account the reality that both the French and the Dutch electorates had rejected the proposed constitutional treaty.

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

Civil Society

Asked if there was any response to David Cameron's speech about civil society, and that the Government was overseeing a "de-civilised culture and was treating people like children", the PMOS said that as a civil servant, he was not going to respond directly to the Leader of the Opposition. However, the PMOS pointed people to the recent report on ASBOs from the NAO in December 2006. That report recognised that our policy in tackling antisocial behaviour through a twin attack approach of support and sanction was effective, as well as being effective in cracking down on other things such as dispersal zones and acceptable behaviour contracts. We had also put in place parenting classes and advice to address poor parenting. Therefore, in terms of a society in which people took responsibility, we had set out measures to try to achieve that.

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

EU Treaty

Asked if the Prime Minister's visit to Poland at the end of the week was primarily about the EU Treaty, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that a lot of forthcoming European visits would undoubtedly cover the issue and the Prime Minister had set out his view of the way forward last week with the Dutch Prime Minister.

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

Police Inquiry

Asked if the Prime Minister had been informed as to what the next steps were for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the PMOS said that it was a matter for the CPS and the CPS alone. The PMOS added that the CPS had said, "Following media reports we wish to make it plain, once again, that it is not the role of any agency to 'recommend' charges to the CPS. Any decision on charges in the Cash for Honours case will be taken by the CPS alone after full and careful consideration of the police file of evidence and applying the Code for Crown prosecutors."

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

Home Office

Asked what the Security and Terrorism Committee would involve, the PMOS said it would bring together for the first time the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, other agencies and the Prime Minister for the first time. Asked if the Chancellor would be present, the PMOS said no. Asked if there would be any briefing, the PMOS said that as it was the first meeting there would be a pooled brief but it would not be a regular occurrence.

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

Prime Minister’s Visit to Germany this week

Asked why the Prime Minister was going to Germany this week, the PMOS said that Germany currently held the Presidency and the meeting was important because of the EU Treaty, climate change, energy discussions and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The PMOS added that the Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel had regular meetings but in the run up to the EU Council and G8 in June there was a greater need to keep in touch. Asked if it was the Prime Minister's intention to have an agreed position, the PMOS had said he believed an amending Treaty would be in the interests of both the EU and this country.

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

Northern Ireland

Asked if the Prime Minister would be travelling to Northern Ireland in two weeks, the PMOS said that there had been an invitation at PMQs. We were polite people and the 8th May was an important date in Northern Ireland.

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


Asked if there was any news on Operation Sinbad the PMOS said there was nothing new to add.

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

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