» Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tourism Breakfast

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) advised journalists that the Prime Minister had hosted a breakfast meeting this morning for leading representatives of the UK tourism industry.  Attendees had included Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for DCMS, James Purnell, the Tourism Minister, Lord Coe and representatives from Visit Britain, Centre Parcs and the Hilton Group, amongst others. 

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

24 Hour Licensing

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Tessa Jowell that there may be a rise in alcohol-related crime as a result of the Licensing Bill, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the important point was what we had were the powers to deal with premises and individuals who did not live up to their obligations. Communities had more powers to deal with either problem premises, or problem individuals than they did before.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked to comment on today's Guardian splash which claimed that the UK was consulting Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other countries in order to set up a counter-insurgency coalition to combat al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in the south of Afghanistan once US forces withdrew next year, the PMOS said that he was as mystified to see the story on the Guardian's front page today as he had been to see a report on the same issue on ITN last night.  He pointed out that this had first been announced in June 2004 at the Istanbul NATO Summit, at which we had said that the UK would take over command of ISAF from May 2006 to February 2007 and that we would deploy the Headquarters element of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). 

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Bird Flu

Put to the PMOS that a report from DEFRA today suggested that the public was misled by the Government, as Michael Jack had said today in a Select Committee that "it woz the parrot that didn't do it", so why had there been a Government cover-up on bird flu, the PMOS replied that the question was going slightly further than the facts. The PMOS said the bottom line was that the quarantine process had worked. Any sensible system was reviewed when there was actual experience to see how it had worked in practice. The quarantine had worked, as the birds were caught in the quarantine, and there was no evidence of any animals being let out of quarantine that were affected, though he acknowledged that the parrot had to be posthumously pardoned!

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Licensing Act

Asked when the date for the Pre-Budget Report would be announced, the PMOS said that it was up to the Treasury to make the announcement, not him. 

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

EU Auditors

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that the EU auditors refusal to sign on the EU budget for the eleventh year hastened the urgency of the review, the PMOS said that part of the problem was systematic differences between countries. We had initiated a process to try and harmonise the process of how countries made their accounts, and that should help. Therefore, as the auditors had said, the direction of travel was correct, and we believed that we had put in place a process that should help the harmonising of accounting standards.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

2018 World Cup Bid

Asked if the Prime Minister was excited at the possibility of England bidding to host the World Cup in 2018, the PMOS confirmed that we had had preliminary discussions with the FA.  However, he had nothing further to say at this stage. 

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

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