» Friday, November 4, 2005

Anti-Terror Legislation

Put to him that Brian Paddick at the Met Police had said he had problems with the anti terror legislation, saying we had to be aware of the unintended consequences of legislation in terms of whether it affected peoples willingness to come forward. He went on to say he had real concerns about whether this legislation would deter Muslims giving evidence. Asked for a reaction given that both the Prime Minister and Sir Ian Blair had said the police were united on the terror proposals, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Prime Minister took his view on anti-terror legislation not just from Sir Ian Blair but also from Andy Hayman, the head of the anti terror branch. Of course we wanted to have the full co-operation of every section of the community in the country, which was why we had embarked on explaining why we needed the anti-terrorism legislation. Also the Home Office had embarked on its efforts to reach out to the Muslim community. Sir Ian Blair and Andy Hayman had expressed the views of those who were at the front line of dealing with terrorism. Brian Paddick's views were a matter for him.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)


Asked what was the Prime Minister's view on down grading ecstasy and whether he thought it was right for others to recommend it, the PMOS said he was not aware of the context and as such it was better if he did not comment yet. Put to him that the parents of Leah Betts, who died of ecstasy 10 years ago, had told the Sun that the Government was not doing enough on drugs, particularly ecstasy. As a result they were now going to have to close the Leah Betts helpline because of lack of support from the Government over the issue of ecstasy, the PMOS said for specifics on ecstasy policy it was better that journalists spoke to the department. In terms of cannabis reclassification we were keeping it under constant review. Asked if the Government had a general stance on drugs policy and whether it had the balance right between prevention and sanctions, the PMOS said that drugs policy was one of those matters that you had to keep constantly under review, which we did in conjunction with the police and communities. That would remain the case.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

The Chancellor

Put to him that given there were a few newspaper editorials suggesting that the Chancellor should be more vocal in his support of the Prime Minister as such did the Prime Minister hope that the Chancellor would use today's visits to underline that support and had they seen each other recently, the PMOS said that they do see each other regularly and in terms of the Chancellor's schedule people should speak to the Treasury. Asked if we knew what the Chancellor was doing today, the PMOS said that the Treasury spoke for the Chancellor not him. Put to him that we announced other Ministerial engagements around Whitehall, the PMOS said that we did not announce every engagement. Otherwise lobby would never begin. Journalist should not play games with this, the Treasury dealt with the Chancellor, as had always been the custom. In answer to further questions, the PMOS reiterated that the Treasury, as had always been the case, briefed for the Chancellor.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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