» Monday, October 10, 2005


Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with David Blunkett's assessment that the benefit system was "crackers", the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that what the Prime Minister believed was that we should reform measures such as the incapacity benefit to help more people back to work as they wished. Therefore, that was why we were having a fundamental think about the way in which incapacity benefit in particular worked within the welfare system.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (12)

EU Informal Summit

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that following consultations with other European Heads of Government the Informal EU Summit being held at Hampton Court would be on Thursday 27 October from 10am till 6pm. The preference had been, given the nature of this summit, for a concentrated day so that we could squeeze in more discussion time than you normally could in the usual evening and morning sessions in Brussels. There would be several working sessions throughout the day of the Summit. As the Prime Minister had made in clear in Paris we needed to distinguish what this summit was about. It was a follow up to his Europe speech, in that we wanted to concentrate on how we faced the challenge of globalisation as Europe. As the Prime Minster said there were various areas where we would be working in cooperation with our French counterparts in preparation for the Summit.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Angela Merkel

Asked whether the Prime Minister was looking forward to working closely with Germany's first female Chancellor, the PMOS said the Prime Minister congratulated Angela Merkel on her elevation and he hoped to talk to her later this afternoon.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

South East Asian Earthquake

The PMOS told journalists that the Prime Minister had spoken to President Musharraf of Pakistan yesterday evening to offer his condolences and to offer further help. We had responded so far by committing around £1 million of assistance in one way or another. The first search and rescue team had left on Saturday and had already been involved in rescuing people trapped in a tower block in Islamabad. A second search and rescue team had reached the main earthquake zone in Pakistan controlled Kashmir. So far a UK chartered aircraft had taken the following: 75 people and 5 dogs in the UK search and rescue teams; a rapid response team of Foreign & Commonwealth Office consular staff to support UK nationals and dual nationals; 4 Department of International Development advisers; and 9 tonnes of relief supplies including blankets and so on. We had also said that we would pay for the transport of relief goods provided by British NGOs as we had done during the Tsunami relief effort.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Mr. Sarkozy Meeting

Asked if the Prime Minister was having dinner with Nicolas Sarkozy tonight, the PMOS said we did not always brief on the Prime Minister's private meetings.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Proscription Order

Asked if the Home Secretary was proscribing new organisations today, the PMOS explained that these were the organisations that were already regarded as terrorist organisations. In regard to the new legislation he could not go into detail of potential individual organisations, but the new legislation would allow us to deal with other organisations. Asked if it included Hizb ut Tahir, the PMOS said that we could not go into individual cases of groups that would be covered by the new legislation. Today's announcement was in relation to the existing legislation. The groups would be those not caught under the under the new legislation. Asked what form of legal instrument it was, the PMOS said it was a Statutory Instrument but for further information people should speak to the Home Office.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Terror Organisations

Asked if proscribed organisations were something the Prime Minister was concerned about having a detrimental effect on community relations, the PMOS said what the Prime Minister was concerned about was that if terrorist organisations were carrying out activities, then they should be prescribed, as they were terrorist organisations. He would start from that end of the telescope.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

90-Day Detention Period

Asked about the Attorney General's alleged concern about the legality of a 90-day detention period, the PMOS said that we did not comment on the Attorney General's advice. The Government's position was that this request from the police had to be considered very seriously. The idea originated after 7/7. It was at the request of the police, who because of the complexity of the evidence gathering process in such cases believed that they needed the 90-day period to detain people. 3 months would be the maximum and only used in exceptional cases. It would also be subject to regular judicial review. As such this was why we were seriously considering the matter. Clearly we wanted to move forward, if possible, on the basis of consent. However we had to recognise that the starting point was a very serious request made by the police because of the complexity of these cases. Asked if it was more important to get a consensus, the PMOS said that in terms of trying to get a consensus we were genuine about that, equally however we had to take very seriously the request of the police for this additional power, given that it would be subject to judicial oversight. The Home Secretary had made his position clear on this last week. The Met Police had published supporting evidence about why they wanted a 3-month period. This was not something we were considering for any reasons other than because the police believed it to be necessary. Asked when the Prime Minister last spoke to leaders about the search for a consensus, the PMOS pointed out that the opposition leaders had been busy with other matters in recent weeks but that the Home Secretary had remained in touch with his opposite numbers.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Baroness Thatcher’s Birthday celebrations

Asked what the Prime Minister was going to do at the party, and was Mrs. Blair accompanying him, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister was going but he had no further details at that time.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

David Blunkett

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with David Blunkett that the daily tittle-tattle on his private life did not affect his job, the PMOS said that David Blunkett had a serious job with welfare reform. As he showed today he was getting on with that job. End of story.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


October 2005
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Sep   Nov »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh