» Friday, April 23, 2004

European Constitution/Referendum

Asked if the Education Secretary supported the Prime Minister's decision to hold a referendum on the European Constitution, the PMS said that the referendum issue had been raised briefly at Cabinet yesterday morning. There had been no dissenting voices at that meeting. She added that although she had seen the reports in the press today, she was not aware of the exact circumstances in which the Education Secretary was reported to have made his comments, or when or where he had been contacted by his local paper. Asked if Mr Clarke had been consulted in advance of the announcement being made this week, the PMS repeated that there had been no dissenting voices at yesterday's Cabinet meeting. Put to her that that would imply that there couldn't have been much of a discussion about the issue yesterday, the PMS repeated that there had been a brief discussion during which there had been no dissenting voices. Asked how 'brief' was 'brief', the PMS said that she had not attended Cabinet yesterday and was therefore unable to answer the question. Asked if yesterday's meeting had been the first time that Cabinet had discussed the issue of the referendum, the PMS reminded journalists that Patricia Hewitt had dealt with this point in an interview earlier in the week when she had confirmed that Cabinet had discussed the issue in the past. Put to her that Ms Hewitt had been consulted about the decision to hold a referendum, so her position was different to that of the Education Secretary, the PMS repeated that there had been no dissenting voices at Cabinet yesterday when the issue had been raised.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Terrorist Suspect Release

Asked if the Prime Minister shared David Blunkett's view about the release on bail of an Algerian terror suspect, the PMS said that we regretted the decision that had been taken by SIAC. Last October, SIAC had ruled at the appeal hearing that there was "reasonable suspicion that the appellant is an international terrorist within the meaning of Section 21 and reasonable belief that his presence in the UK is a risk to national security".

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (7)

Northern Ireland

Asked about the Prime Minister's meeting with Gerry Adams today, the PMS said that they would no doubt discuss the IMC report which had been published earlier in the week. Today's meeting was the latest in a series of routine meetings which the Prime Minister regularly had with all the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties. For example, he had met Mark Durkan of the SDLP on Wednesday.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

RAF Bases

Asked why Adam Ingram had announced the outcome of a review on RAF bases today when the Prime Minister had assured the House on Wednesday that he would examine the issue, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) said that she would find out about discussions which the Prime Minister might have had with the MoD since Wednesday.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked for a reaction to reports that the Government was considering sending 1,700 additional troops to Iraq to replace Spanish troops once they withdrew, the PMS said that we were keeping the situation in Iraq under constant review, as you would expect. No decision had been taken at this stage regarding the deployment of further troops. Asked if a request had been made, the PMS said that discussions had been held with our Coalition partners since the announcement about the withdrawal of Spanish troops. However, no decisions had been made at this stage. Asked about the possibility that British troops might be asked to patrol areas deep within the 'Sunni Triangle', the PMS said she had no doubt that all the relevant issues would be looked at were any decisions to be taken.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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