» Thursday, October 28, 2004


Asked when Downing Street would reply to Frank Field’s questions about the Prime Minister’s contacts with gambling companies, the PMOS said that they would be answered in due course. As we had already made clear, the Prime Minister had not met Thomas Baker. However, Mr Baker had met with No 10 officials. That being so, it was equally important to point out that those officials had also met representatives from charities and a wide range of other bodies, as was entirely proper. The PMOS pointed out that although it was true that the Bill had changed after Mr Baker’s meeting in Downing Street, it was important to be clear that it had actually changed against his interests, not in support of them. As we had stated last Friday, the legislation had changed in order to reduce the number of gaming machines that were permitted in casinos, not increase them as Mr Baker had obviously wanted. Asked if there were any objections in principle to releasing details about contacts the Government had had with gambling organisations, the PMOS reminded journalists that it had never been our practice to brief on every single meeting the Prime Minister or any of his officials had. That said, it was our duty to point out inaccuracies in any media report, as indeed he had done today.

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

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