» Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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.

Asked if there would be a family photo, the PMOS said that there would be.

Asked if Mrs. Blair would be going to the Palace, the PMOS said that she was.

Asked if the Prime Minister had received any calls from international leaders today, the PMOS said that he had been focused on PMQs today.

Asked if the Prime Minister would go to Sedgefield, regardless of the Russians, the PMOS replied that although it was not in the period that he would be Spokesman, that he was heading north this afternoon.

Asked if the Prime Minister would travel to Sedgefield on The Queen’s flight, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister would be a private citizen by then.

Asked if the Prime Minister’s thanks to staff would take place as it had historically in the past, the PMOS replied that there would be a speech to staff and then the traditional exit. The content would not be made public, because the Prime Minister had an enormous affection and respect for the No10 staff and that that was reciprocated by all those who worked in Downing Street. This was a moment for them and for the Prime Minister, and therefore, it was better that we kept it that way. It would be a very special occasion.

Asked to confirm that everyone would be there, including Switch, the PMOS confirmed that as many as possible, and asked journalists not to call No10!

Asked if the Prime Minister had had any final words with Gordon Brown today, the PMOS replied that they had spoken today.

Put by Channel Four that sometimes, some people left something in their desk for their successor, the PMOS replied that it wouldn’t be his final lobby if there hadn’t been a "Gibbon-esque" question, and it very good that it had come from the master. These matters were private!

Asked what the PMOS’ plans were afterwards, he replied that he was thinking of suing the Press Association, as they had described him yesterday as "affable"! He did have a reputation to maintain; the Daily Mail had established him as a " dour Ulsterman", so for God’s sake, he didn’t want that ruined on his last day!!!

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

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