» Monday, July 26, 2004

PM’s Holiday

Asked where the Prime Minister was holidaying this summer, the Prime Minister' Spokesman (PMS) said that he was in Barbados, having arrived there last night. Asked if the Deputy Prime Minister was in charge while the Prime Minister was away, the PMS said that the Deputy Prime Minister would carry out his traditional role over the summer while the Prime Minister was out of the country. As she had been telling journalists for the last five summers, the Prime Minister continued to be the Prime Minister, even while he was abroad. The Deputy Prime Minister would look after things on a day-to-day basis in his absence. Asked for how long the Prime Minister would be away, the PMS said that it wasn't our policy to comment on the Prime Minister's travel schedule.

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

John Morrison/ISC

Asked if the Prime Minister had been involved in the sacking of John Morrison, the PMS said no. She underlined that it was important to be clear what this story was all about. John Morrison had been working as a contractor in the Cabinet Office for the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). He had worked for the ISC for over five years on a part-time basis. His contract was due to end in October this year. Whilst continuing with its current work, the ISC did not plan to appoint a new investigator. Asked if she was indicating that Mr Morrison had not, in fact, been sacked, the PMS said she was simply pointing out that his contract was coming to an end. Asked to explain how the ISC was intending to operate without a replacement for Mr Morrison, the PMS said that operational matters were entirely a matter for the ISC. The Committee had decided not to replace Mr Morrison when his contract came to an end in October. Asked if she would agree that the treatment of Mr Morrison underlined the fact that the ISC was not really a Parliamentary Committee but a 'creature' of the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister, the PMS said no. It was entirely up to the ISC to decide how to run its operations. Asked repeatedly on what grounds it had been decided that Mr Morrison should not be replaced, the PMS said that the ISC had decided they did not want to appoint a new investigator. It was up to them to decide how to carry out their work.

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

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