» Thursday, April 1, 2004

Prime Minister’s press conference

[This is the transcript of one of the Prime Minister's occasional press conferences; these are the words of the Prime Minister giving a statement and answering the questions of journalists. Unlike the PMOS's briefings, this is a more-or-less verbatim transcript of the Prime Minister's words. Such press conferences happen about once a month, and occasionally more often.]

Briefing took place at 17:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (7)

Beverley Hughes

In answer to questions, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said it was important to be clear that the concerns raised by Bob Ainsworth were of a different order to the allegations - as yet unproven - which had been expressed in recent days. Those allegations centred on the suggestion that there was a policy to approve fraudulent documents knowingly. That was obviously a more serious claim than some of the concerns expressed by Mr Ainsworth. Of course that was not to suggest that his concerns were negligible. They were not, as Ms Hughes had shown by responding to his letter last March. Clearly Ken Sutton would look at the substance of the claims. Questioned as to why, if that was the case, Ms Hughes had resigned as a result of Mr Ainsworth's concerns rather than the allegations which had been made earlier in the week, the PMOS said that the question was based on a misunderstanding. Having subsequently seen the papers - of which she had clearly had no recollection when doing interviews on Monday evening - Ms Hughes felt that she might have given a misleading impression that this was the first time that general concerns about Romania had been raised with her. She had been accurate to say that it was the first time the specific allegations relating to fraud, as had been reported over the last few days, had been raised with her. However, it was wrong to have given the impression that other concerns had not been raised, as clearly they had. Asked again, the PMOS said it was important to be clear that there were two different issues here: concerns expressed by Bob Ainsworth and allegations - as yet unproven - relating to systematic fraud which had been raised earlier this week. In saying that she hadn't heard about those allegations, she believed that she had unwittingly given the impression that she hadn't heard about any concerns regarding Romania, when in fact she had from Bob Ainsworth. That was why she had resigned.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Beverley Hughes Resignation

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) informed journalists that the Immigration Minister, Beverley Hughes, had resigned from the Government this morning. Subject to the agreement of the Speaker, she would make a Statement to the House at around lunchtime today.

Briefing took place at 11:30 | Read whole briefing | Comments (8)

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


April 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Mar   May »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh