» Friday, May 14, 2004

Oil Prices

Asked to confirm the report in today's Times suggesting that troops could be used to protect fuel supplies in the event of protests against oil prices, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that contingency plans had been drawn up for all sorts of things. It wasn't our policy to brief on them unless we had to use them. At the moment, the possibility of future fuel protests was purely hypothetical. Put to him that the publication today of contingency plans to evacuate London in the event of a disaster showed that we did in fact brief on contingency plans, the PMOS congratulated journalists on their observation skills but said that said he was simply making the point that it was sensible not to talk about contingency plans in certain areas because it could lead to unhelpful speculation.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (5)

Prime Minister

Asked if he would agree that the Prime Minister was creating his own 'spin-cycle' following his interview with the Independent today in which he had said he wouldn't stand down and his indication to Guardian journalists recently that he would stand down if he became an electoral liability, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had answered questions about this matter in his constituency this morning. What he had said was what he believed - that the speculation was complete froth. Local people had told him that they wanted to see him getting on with the job. That was precisely what he was doing.

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


Asked if the Prime Minister believed that there should be changes in personnel at the Daily Mirror, the PMOS said that that was entirely a matter for the newspaper concerned and its proprietors. Asked if the issue would be referred to the PCC, the PMOS said that he was not aware of any such proposal.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (12)


Asked if the Prime Minister was happy with the amendments to the Pensions Bill being put forward today, the PMOS said that this was the result of a lot of hard work carried out by DWP, the Treasury and Downing Street. It had led to a package which would go some way towards addressing the issues facing people who had lost their pensions when their firms had gone bankrupt. Today's announcement was clearly very welcome news.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

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