» Friday, July 23, 2010


Asked about letters issued by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was there any comment on present or former British Ministers being asked to give evidence by a foreign legislature in another country, the PMS replied that Jack Straw had said that he would be in contact with the Foreign Office. At this time, he had not contacted them.

Whether Jack Straw engaged with the Senate was a decision for him, but the Foreign Office stood ready to discuss these issues or any concerns he had.

In terms of the Government and Ministers appearing, we had not received an invitation. The Prime Minister had said in Washington that the Government would engage constructively with those Senate hearings.

On what form of advice the FCO were likely to give Jack Straw if he chose to seek it, the PMS said she would not preclude any advice given by the FCO.

Asked if it was down to the individual on whether to appear at one of these hearings, the PMS replied that the Government had not been invited to appear, but would consider any invitation should the issue arise. As for Mr Straw appearing, that was a matter for him.

Asked what the Cabinet Secretary’s general principle would be to Ministers having to answer to foreign legislatures on decisions made in this country, the PMS said that we would look at that if the situation arose.

On whether the Cabinet Secretary had made any decision on those Lockerbie papers, the PMS said that she could not give any guidance on timing yet.

Put that some relatives of the Lockerbie dead wanted to see an inquiry set up and was the Prime Minister at all minded to do so, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had made his views very clear on the issue of an inquiry.

The Prime Minister had spoken at length in the US on the fact that an inquiry had already been carried out. The Prime Minister had also instructed the Cabinet Secretary to look into the relevant papers to see if anything more could be released.

Asked if the Prime Minister understood why the Foreign Relations Committee would want to hear from Scottish Ministers, the PMS said that it was up to the Committee which witnesses they invited to appear before it and a decision for Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Government whether those Ministers chose to appear.

On whether the Scottish Executive should make itself accountable to the Foreign Relations Committee, the PMS said that it was entirely a matter for them.

Asked if providing papers constituted full cooperation from the Government or should Ministers appear before the Committee, the PMS said that we had not been invited to appear. The Prime Minister had spoken at length on this and the PMS referred people to his comments.

Asked if there had been any contact between No10 and the US administration on the situation since the Prime Minister had returned, the PMS said we were routinely in touch with colleagues in the US but we wouldn’t provide a running commentary on any of those discussions.

Asked if there had been any contact with BP since the Prime Minister had returned, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had not met anyone from BP since his return.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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