» Friday, May 7, 2004

Youth Justice Pledge

The Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) drew journalists' attention to the Youth Justice Pledge statistics for February which had been published today. These showed that there were now 66 days from arrest to sentence for young offenders, particularly persistent offenders - well within the 71 day target set by the Government.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Europe Day

The PMS advised journalists that the Prime Minister would be visiting Paris on Sunday to celebrate, which was particularly appropriate since this year was the centenary of the Entente Cordiale. In the morning, the Prime Minister and President Chirac would join a debate at the Elysee with a group of 400 French and British students. This would be followed by a private working lunch attended by the Prime Minister, President Chirac and Prime Minister Raffarin. In the afternoon, the Prime Minister and the French Prime Minister would address and meet with students at the Matignon. The Prime Minister would also meet Francois Holland, the leader of the French Socialists. In answer to questions about the debate at the Elysee, the PMS said that the participating British students were currently studying in the UK. The visit was part of a programme of links between British and French university students to mark the anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

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


The PMS informed journalists that the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, would be arriving in the UK on Sunday for his first visit here since taking up his appointment in March 2003. He would meet the Prime Minister for talks on Monday. There would be a Guard of Honour in the FCO Quadrangle on his arrival and a joint press conference in Downing Street. The Chinese Premier would also be meeting the Deputy Prime Minister, Jack Straw, Patricia Hewitt and Hilary Benn during his visit. Asked if this was a State Visit, the PMS said no, it was an official visit. The Chinese Premier would be a guest of the Government. Asked for how long he would be visiting the UK, the PMS said until Tuesday. It was part of a wider European trip. The two leaders had last met in July 2003 during the Prime Minister's visit to China.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked about the latest claims and pictures relating to allegations of mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by British troops, the PMS said that the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch was carrying out an investigation. That was continuing. Asked the Government's view of the pictures, the PMS repeated that the SIB was carrying out an investigation. It would not be helpful to pre-empt their findings. Asked if the Prime Minister had been made aware of the allegations made by Soldier 'C', the PMS repeated that the SIB was investigating. She had no intention of providing a running commentary on how the investigation was progressing.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (13)

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