» Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Peter Clarke

Asked if the leaking of information that Mr. Clarke was talking about, in his speech yesterday, was so damaging surely there is a case for an inquiry into that particular case, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said what he had said this morning still held. You do have to ask yourself what the chances are of finding out who did carry out the leak, but that is a judgement for others. The important thing is to recognise that Peter Clarke's speech, number 1, he condemned the leaking and we fully support him 110 percent; number 2, it was a much broader warning to society as a whole about the severity of the international threat that we face, the terrorist threat that we face and again in that we support him.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Security and Terrorism

Put that Sir Paul Levy had suggested that there should be an inquiry into who leaked what in the wake of Peter Clarke's speech yesterday, and did we support that, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that rather than talk about inquiries, what was important was that we fully supported what Peter Clarke had said. The Home Secretary had categorically set out his position on this, and that was all that should be said. What was important was that we kept the focus on what Peter Clarke was talking about, and as yesterday's first meeting of the new Committee underlined, the threat from terrorism remained severe. Therefore, we had to be focused on that.

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

Alan Ball

Asked if there were any thoughts about the death of Alan Ball, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister was saddened by Alan Ball's death and hugely admired him.

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


Put that this had been the worst month for British casualties in Iraq since the war had begun, were there any thoughts on why or on withdrawal, the PMOS replied that he was not aware of any changes to our plans regarding withdrawal. With regards to why, what we needed to focus on was obviously at an operational level, Commanders would assess any implications, but that was a matter for them. At a bigger picture level, what we had to focus on were the efforts, both in Basra and Baghdad, to transfer responsibility to the Iraqi authorities as quickly as possible, and to do so when the conditions on the ground were right. That was a matter of assessment, and what it did not in any way affect was our determination to do the job.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Boris Yeltsin

Put that the Duke of York and John Major were attending the state funeral of Boris Yeltsin, but was there anyone representing the Government as well, the PMOS replied that he was not aware of any further plans, but America was being represented by former Presidents Bush and Clinton and that appeared to reflect what other countries were doing.

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

EU Treaty

Asked by the Sun if the Prime Minister was able to quell Angela Merkel's efforts to revive the EU constitution during his visit yesterday, the PMOS replied that firstly, he wanted to correct some things that had been written today. There were no plans to in any way sign away the ability of this country to defend itself, no matter what the view of our EU partners. Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) had been part of the EU for a long time, but the QMV we agreed to was only when it was in this country's interests, such as in pursuing the Single Market which was something that the Sun newspaper supported. What was necessary was to look at what actually helped an EU of 27 work in a way that was not necessary for an EU of 6 or 15. What was important was that we engaged with the EU President - Angela Merkel in this case - who was someone who was fully aware of the need to move Europe forward in a practical way, and in a way that did respond to the votes that we had had in Europe, for example in Holland and France. What did not work, however, was to stand on the sidelines and simply say no.

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

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