» Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Asked for more detail on the three counter-terrorism announcements made by the Prime Minister earlier today, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) replied that firstly the Prime Minister had asked Admiral West to urgently examine the screening of Health Service workers to see if there were any issues arising there. Secondly in relation to watch lists, at the moment if someone applies for a visa to come to the UK or a work permit, a number of checks take place. One of these is against the Warnings Index or watch list, which is a list held by the Borders and Immigration Agency of people we had security concerns about. The Prime Minister said that we would expand the watch list of potential terrorists. At the moment there was a watch list specific to the UK, obviously when we compiled that we fed in intelligence and information we get from other countries, but the Prime Minister was signalling the need for a more structured formal international watch list or a greater degree of cooperation internationally around the way in which individual countries compile these watch lists. Thirdly in relation to the migrants programme, we were in the process of introducing a new points based system. This included new controls on sponsorship whereby migrants would require a sponsor to support their application. The Home Office were currently designing criteria for the sponsor register so that people would not be able to bring others to the UK without being on that register.

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


Asked for a readout of how the Prime Minister thought PMQs went, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was getting on with the business of running the country.

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

Alistair Campbell’s Diaries

Asked if the Prime Minister had had chance to read Alistair Campbell's diaries, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had not as far as he was aware.

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


Asked if the Prime Minister would continue on with the tradition of condolences at the start of PMQs, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) told the lobby that although the Prime Minister had done so yesterday, as it was the first time he had addressed the House, there was not a policy decision on it, but nothing had changed, as far as he was aware.

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

Alan Johnston

Asked who the Prime Minister believed was responsible for the release of Alan Johnston, and also, what role did he believe Hamas played in the release, the PMS replied that as the Prime Minister had said in his statement this morning he welcomed the good news on Mr. Johnston's release, and that it would come as a great relief to his family and friends and all those who had worked to see him freed. Clearly, we did acknowledge the crucial role that was played by Hamas in securing this outcome, and generally on Hamas, the position had not changed. We continued to call for them to adhere to the Quartet principles of January 2006, which were non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the roadmap. Policy in relation to Hamas had not changed, what we expected of them had not changed, but clearly, we did acknowledge the crucial role that they had played in this particular episode.

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


Asked for an explanation as to how Parliament would dissolve and how a general election would be called, and also, how would Parliament recall itself if it was not recalled by the Prime Minister, the PMS explained that with regards to recalling, a majority of MPs could call on the Speaker to recall Parliament. However, one of the things we had to consult on was the mechanism by which the majority of MPs would make their views known. On dissolution, it was for The Queen to dissolve Parliament on advice from the Prime Minister, but what we had said yesterday subject to consultation was that the Prime Minister would expect to only go to The Queen on the basis of a vote in the House of Commons first.

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

Terror Threat

Asked about the terms "Islamic","Islamist", "Muslim" and terrorism and what was the policy about using those words in relation to terrorist incidents, the PMS replied that there was not a strict Government policy on the use of words. The PMS referred people to what the Prime Minister had said at the weekend about the need to ensure that extremists in all communities were isolated from moderates in all communities.

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

Parliament Square Protests

Asked that when the Prime Minister had talks with the Mayor of London, would he raise with the Mayor who as owner/landlord of the grass that the tents were on outside Parliament was the only person with the authority to get them moved, and did he have plans to use that authority, the PMS said that there would be discussions with all relevant people. The intention was to allow legitimate public rallies within the vicinity of Parliament.

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

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