» Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Operation Crevice Court Case

Asked what the response from Downing Street was following the claims by the BBC that the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) had not been given all the photographic evidence when they should have been, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said firstly the version of events put forward is not one that is universally accepted. Secondly the PMOS could not speak for the ISC because it was an independent committee. Thirdly it was precisely to go over all the evidence that the Prime Minister asked Paul Murphy and the ISC to review the material. Therefore this was precisely the sort of issue that the ISC would now be able to consider in the round having the full transcript of the court and being able to ask whatever questions it wanted.

Put to the PMOS that yesterday he had said that the ISC had been fully aware of all the relevant material all the way along, was the PMOS now saying the ISC were not fully aware of all the relevant material or was it that they had all the material but they were not aware of all the connections between them, the PMOS said he did not want to get into the detail as it was a matter for the ISC, but the PMOS stood by what he had said yesterday. The PMOS added that what people asked for yesterday was an independent inquiry which would make its results public, that is precisely what the ISC was and would do and has done. The ISC had been kept fully informed of all developments. Now there was the opportunity to go over all the material again and they will do so. Asked if the ISC would go over the photographs again, the PMOS said whatever the ISC wanted to it would see.

Asked though the committee was independent did the PMOS have any idea when it would report, the PMOS said no, it was a matter entirely for the ISC. Put to the PMOS that the reporter knew that the PMOS would say that, the PMOS responded by saying that in No.10 we were consistent and we try and be consistent.

Asked when the PMOS had said that the ISC was aware of all the relevant material was that information passed to No.10 from MI5 or the security services, the PMOS said again he could not get into the detail of it but based on the information we had we believed that the material was all there. Again, this was all a matter that the ISC itself, an independent committee, with cross-party representation from all sides, and it could go through all the relevant material and it would do so. Put to the PMOS that the claim in the Times this morning that the ISC was wrongly told that the West Yorkshire force had been made aware of Mohamed Saddiqui Khan and that has been contradicted subsequently, there was a claim that the ISC had been misled, the PMOS said again we stand by what we said, the PMOS did not want to get into he detail because this was now a matter that the ISC was actively going to look at and it was best that we let them get on with the job. People could not ask on the one hand for an independent inquiry and then on the other hand expect No.10 to be constantly interfering. That was not our role. Our role is to make sure that they can have the ability to get whatever they need to conduct an independent review of the material.

Put to the PMOS that the Conservatives had been hinting of a cover up and would No.10 categorically rule that out, the PMOS said he did not want to become involved in Party matters, but that if people make allegations of that kind they need to provide the evidence to back the claims up.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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