» Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Prime Minister

The Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) began the briefing by introducing himself and reaffirmed that future briefings will be on the record. He then talked Lobby through what had been happening at Downing Street since the new Prime Minister arrived earlier this afternoon. The Prime Minister was clapped in by Downing Street staff as was traditional, and had an initial meeting with the Cabinet Secretary. In his first act as Prime Minister he revoked the Orders of Council granting powers to special advisors to give instructions to civil servants. The Prime Minister then had a series of phone calls with foreign leaders. The first call was to President Bush, it was cordial and constructive lasting around 10 minutes, and built on the discussions they had in Washington. The Prime Minister then spoke to President Sarkozy, Bertie Ahern, Chancellor Merkel and Romano Prodi. He had of course been speaking to President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel in recent weeks. The Prime Minister spoke to the two leaders of the main opposition parties David Cameron and Menzies Campbell. The call to David Cameron was courteous and businesslike.

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


Put to him that the "ex-Prime Minister" referred in PMQs to a troop reduction in Iraq happening in the next few weeks, and asked if there was any more information on that, the PMS replied that there was nothing more that he could add, but this was not a particularly new announcement. Tony Blair was referring to the plan of a gradual draw down that was already underway.

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

Prime Minister

Asked for a detailed picture about today's plans and how did things look in Downing Street, the Prime Minister's Spokesman asked, amid cheers from the lobby, had he missed something in the news today...?! With regards to today, the PMOS said that we would not be briefing what the Prime Minister would say to staff in No10, as that should be kept private. The PMOS also said tat he was not going to break the habit of a lifetime and give too much of a running commentary, but the Prime Minister had said that he would be Prime Minister right to the end. As the PMOS had said yesterday, if people looked at what we had done in the last six months, it was difficult to disagree that he had fulfilled that promise. Last night, he said that his night was like virtually any Tuesday night when he had been Prime Minister, because he was preparing for PMQs today. Of course today was not normal, but in another way, it was normal, because he still had PMQs to prepare for; just because it was his last PMQs did not mean he was going to go in any less prepared than he would normally. The PMOS said that he was not pretending that it was just like any other PMQs, as there was a tinge around it, but against that, on a morning like today, the refuge is work.

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

Quartet Envoy

Asked if the Prime Minister had had any contact with President Putin, the PMOS replied that he did yesterday, and they had a very positive discussion.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Quentin Davies

Asked if the Prime Minister had contacted Quentin Davies, the PMOS said not that he was aware of.

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


The Chair of the lobby asked if there were any further questions. None followed, and there was a period of applause. The PMOS then interrupted the clapping and said that in front of the lobby, he wanted to thank his No10 colleagues who had done a superb job.

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

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