» Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Aviation Security

Asked who took the decision to inform the Prime Minister of the security alert at East Midlands Airport at 2pm last Friday, the PMS replied that decisions were taken by the police. The PMS said that police at the scene assessed the situation and they made a judgement to refer the incident to the Home Office and to Downing Street.

The PMS said he did not know at what time the police had made the decision, but that 2pm was the time when both the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister knew.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought he had been told at the appropriate time, the PMS replied that the investigation was still ongoing and needed to run its course. There was a discussion about the weekend’s events at COBRA yesterday and where there were lessons to be learned we would learn them.

Put that Baroness Neville Jones had said in the Lords that some Ministers were informed at 8am on Friday and did the PMS know which Ministers she was referring to, the PMS said that he had not seen the record of what she had said. The PMS said that the Home Secretary had made a statement on this yesterday and he would not be getting into any more detail than that.

Put that if Ministers knew at 8am, then it would not have been the decision of the police not to tell the Prime Minister, the PMS said that there were police on the scene at the airport, investigating some suspect packages. The police made a judgement to refer the issue to the Home Secretary and to Downing Street. That message, as the Home Secretary had said in the House, came through at around 2pm.

Put that a Minister had made a choice not to tell the Prime Minister for six hours and did the Prime Minister think that was good judgement, the PMS said that judgements were being made based on what was happening. The PMS added that as had been reported, the package in question underwent significant examination and it had taken some time before the facts were established.

Asked if there would be a review into that particular issue, the PMS replied that it would be something the National Security Advisor would look at. As a matter of course in these cases, it was right to look back at what had happened, make sure everything happened in the right way, and learn lessons where appropriate.

original source.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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