» Monday, June 4, 2007


Asked who would be in charge whilst the Prime Minister was abroad later this week, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that the Prime Minister would remain in charge. Asked whose finger would be on the button so to speak, the PMOS replied that it may come as a bit of a surprise to the journalist, but there were very good communications systems these days which meant that the Prime Minister could be just as much in touch in Germany, as he was when he visited other parts of the United Kingdom.

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


Asked about Putin's comments that we should have known that Russia's Constitution barred extradition, and therefore we were being foolish, the PMOS replied that, firstly, murder was anything but foolish and had to be taken very seriously. The evidence that we had put forward and the Russians were fully aware of was very serious, and therefore it should be responded to in a serious way. We await a formal Russian response.

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

EU Constitution

Asked if there was discussion of the EU Constitution during weekend talks with Chancellor Merkel, the PMOS replied that the main focus was on the G8.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked what the Prime Minister's response was to President Putin's words in the Times, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that the new missile defence system that was being put forward by the US was not aimed at Russia, as had been made clear. Rather, it was being aimed at the possibility of rogue states having nuclear weapons. The weapons would not be effective against Russia, given the size of its arsenal, and the position of the defence system in Europe which was too close to Russia, therefore it would be not be effective. The PMOS explained that in terms of the number of missiles that Russia had, it would not be effective on in terms of its positioning. With regards to the overall position with Russia, we wanted to have a construction dialogue with Russia, and we wanted to be able to talk about issues such as Kosovo, Iran and other world global issues in a constructive way. Equally, Europe as a whole, as was seen at the Lahkti conference in October, did have concerns with Russian behaviour, and would not be shy in expressing those concerns. What we wanted was a constructive relationship, but the nature of that relationship was as much up to Russia as it was to us.

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

Climate Change

Asked if we still wanted a carbon emissions reductions target, did we still favour a global carbon market and did we think that this all had to be done ultimately through the UN, the PMOS replied that we thought that President Bush's speech was important because for the first time, President Bush not only said that this was a serious problem that had to be addressed, but that the US wanted to be part of a global framework in which it was addressed. The US had not said that before, and that was significant. President Bush also said that part of that had to be setting a global limit on emissions. Again, that had not been said before. The PMOS said that the question was no longer whether there should be a global framework or a global limit, but rather, the question was how and when people got to that process and got results. Those were questions which did not just involve us and Europe, or indeed the US, but also India and China. In terms of the progress that we wanted to see made, we obviously wanted to see progress as far as possible, but the question was how far could we get at the summit. We had not lowered our ambitions at all, but the question was how far down the road could we get to.

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

Counter Terrorism

Asked for information about the Government's position on use of phone tap evidence, the PMOS said that there was a basic dilemma which was that in terms of trying to prosecute terrorists, as the Prime Minister had said many times, his personal preference would be to use intercept evidence in court. What the Prime Minister recognised, however, was that there were genuine concerns on behalf of the security services that to do so would mean revealing evidence in open court which would jeopardise intelligence sources. If people were faced with the choice between jeopardising intelligence sources which could produce ongoing information which helped in the fight against terrorism, there was a real difficulty. The PMOS added that simply because an issue was raised a lot in the past did not take way that dilemma, and that was one that no doubt would continue to be debated long and hard, but it was a real dilemma.

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

Police Inquiry

Put that the BBC was reporting that the CPS had asked for further inquires, the PMOS said it struck him as rather an old story. In terms of the issue, this was entirely a matter for the CPS and the CPS alone.

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

Prime Minister

Asked if the Prime Minister had any plans to host a formal dinner for The Queen before he left office, the PMOS replied that the diary was fairly tight, but he was not going to get involved in Royal stories.

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

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