» Tuesday, June 26, 2007

27th June

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) began by running through the logistics for tomorrow.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be spending his last evening in No10 tonight, the PMOS replied that that was correct. Asked if the Prime Minister would be making any public appearances apart from PMQs tomorrow, the PMOS replied that he was not aware of any plans for him to do so.

Asked if Mrs Blair would be accompanying the Prime Minister when he met The Queen, the PMOS replied that Mrs Blair would accompany the Prime Minister to the Palace. Asked how the Prime Minister would resign in terms of ceremony and kissing hands, and would he hand over a seal of office, the PMOS replied that he was sorry to disappoint but it would just be a conversation.

Asked if it was technically the case that we would be without a Prime Minister during the hiatus between Tony Blair resigning and Gordon Brown accepting, and asked if that were the case, what would happen in the event of an emergency, the PMOS shared his briefing note with Lobby. It read:

At what point does Gordon Brown become Prime Minister?
When the Queen asks him to form a Government

Who is in charge in the interim?
Don’t be so silly!

The PMOS added that given the relative shortage of time, and the expertise in getting cars in and out of the Palace, "don’t be so silly" covered it.

Asked if we were expecting an announcement from the Quartet soon, the PMOS replied that the journalist should ask the Quartet.

Put to him that Winston Churchill hosted The Queen for dinner, and asked why Tony Blair would not be doing so, the PMOS replied that history was history. In terms of today, there were no plans for a dinner.

Asked to characterise the mood in Downing Street, the PMOS replied that everyone was getting on with the job. Those at the press conference this morning would have seen a very good, serious press conference about a very serious issue. This reflected well the mood in Downing Street. Looking back at the last six months since the turn of the year going through what had actually been achieved in that period, whether it was public services, or Northern Ireland, or the G8 issues of climate change and Africa, or the EU treaty, any Government and any Prime Minister would regard those achievements as quite substantial. President Bush, in the White House press conference spoke of the Prime Minister "sprinting to the wire" – that was what he had done.

Asked to comment on the story in the Mirror today that Gordon Brown wanted the Prime Minister out of Downing Street by 2pm tomorrow, the PMOS replied that this question was beneath comment.

Asked how the Prime Minister would be spending the rest of his last day in Downing Street, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister would be working.

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

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