» Thursday, July 15, 2004

Butler Report

Asked if the Prime Minister would respond to the Leader of the Opposition’s letter asking him to front a debate on the Butler Report in the Commons next week, the PMOS confirmed that the letter had been received. However, since the Prime Minister was currently meeting Chancellor Schroeder, he had not yet seen it. Once the meeting had concluded, he would obviously have a look at it and respond in due course.

Asked if Cabinet had discussed the debate this morning while going through next week’s business in Parliament, the PMOS said that the issue had been mentioned briefly in that context. He pointed out that, prior to the Opposition’s letter, the Leader of the House had already announced that the Foreign Secretary would front the debate in the House next week.

Asked if the Government was intending to respond to the Butler Report before recess, the PMOS said that the Report had only been published yesterday. In the spirit in which Lord Butler had advised that Government business should be carried out, we would take time to read it in a considered and reflective way. That said, people were already beginning to look at how the recommendations could be applied in those areas which Lord Butler and his committee had identified. Asked if some of the money earmarked for the security services in the CSR would be used to implement some of the recommendations, the PMOS said that the Chancellor had announced a further increase in the security budget in his CSR earlier this week. Thus, the resources going in were now nearly double that in 1997. No doubt Lord Butler’s recommendations would be taken into account when the money was allocated.

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

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