» Monday, July 2, 2007


The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) began by informing Lobby that the Prime Minister had a meeting before he went into the chamber with Scottish MPs to update them on the situation.

Asked if there had been a change in policy in the use of the word "Muslim", as it did not feature in the Prime Minister’s remarks yesterday or in his statement today, the PMS replied that there was clearly a need for a strong consensual approach both in relation to all the communities across the UK and as the PM was saying yesterday it was important that the whole country remained united, resolute, and strong.

Put to him that there was no mention of Al Qaeda in the Prime Minister’s statement today, but he had linked Al Qaeda to the bombing in his remarks yesterday, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was making a general point about the nature of the threat, but did not use that phrase when talking about these specific events.

Asked when the Counter Terrorism Bill was due, as the Home Secretary had said "later this year", the PMS replied that we were not going to rush into any particular action as a result of specific events unless advised by the police or the Security Services.

Asked how the Prime Minister felt about the first few days of his premiership being dominated by this crisis, and the fact that he had not been able to make his planned statement today on constitutional reform, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister felt that he took his responsibilities as Prime Minister extremely seriously. When events like this happened, he had to ensure that he was properly briefed and on top of the situation, and out making public statements where necessary. The Prime Minister also felt that the new Home Secretary had handled the situation very well, as reflected in the comments in the House just now. More generally, whilst the events over the weekend were an extraordinary set of circumstances, leading to the need for a full parliamentary statement today from the Home Secretary, his general view was that whilst he had to deal with these important events, it was equally important that the business of Government continued as usual. That was why he would be making his statement on constitutional reform tomorrow, and there would be a statement from Alan Johnson on health on Wednesday. The business of Government would continue, just as the business of the country should continue.

Asked if the Prime Minister had had any discussions with President Bush or other foreign leaders on this, the PMS replied that he would keep Lobby posted.

Put that the question may be raised about the immigration status of the individuals involved, and whether this raised general questions of the Government’s immigration policy, the PMS replied that this was a hypothetical question.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

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