» Thursday, May 3, 2007


Asked about what had been discussed at Cabinet, the PMOS said that Cabinet this morning heard a report from the Attorney General on Operation Crevice and he stressed again how successful it had been. He underlined that it showed the very successful way in which the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked with the police to get these prosecutions. The Attorney General had also underlined how the operation saved many, many lives and therefore the united view of the Cabinet was that the security services and the police should be very firmly congratulated on the outcome of the operation.

The PMOS added that there was also a detailed report from the Secretary of State for Defence, who had just returned from Iraq, on what he had seen there.

Asked if the Secretary of State for Defence’s report include an assessment of the preparedness of the Iraqis to take over the Government, the PMOS said what the Secretary of State for Defence had pointed out was that we had already half handed over areas in the south, secondly, that the Iraqi 10th battalion is increasing in its capabilities all the time but thirdly, we still are there very firmly in a backup role.

Asked if there had been any discussions about the safety of Prince Harry in Iraq, the PMOS said no.

Asked what the reaction from No.10 was following General Sir Michael Rose’s comments that he could understand why the insurgents did what they did and that the Prime Minister should admit defeat, the PMOS said that people will have their own views but as the Secretary of State for Defence reported there is a democratically elected government in Iraq. That government is getting increasingly to grips with the situation. That is something that would have not have been possible under Saddam; therefore what we need to do is to continue to support that democratically elected government. There are issues around reconciliation which we need to address, and address in a very direct way. Equally what people shouldn’t underestimate was the progress that often gets obscured by the very real violence.

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

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