» Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Abu Hamza Verdict

Put that given all the public concerns about incitement over the last few days, what did the Prime Minister think about the verdict of the court and the sentence in the Abu Hamza case, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that sentencing was a matter for judges, and he was not going to comment on sentencing. In terms of the court judgement, however, as the Attorney General had said, what it proved was that the original decision to prosecute was the right one. That should give the public some assurance about the Government's determination to uphold the law in this matter. As people knew, we were putting forward further proposals which would come to Parliament again next week, and we hoped that they would attract as much support as possible.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Climate Change

Asked for further clarification on the Prime Minister's words this morning at the Liaison Committee about travel costs, the PMOS replied that what the Prime Minister was saying was that the proposal to him was that in effect, if the price of tickets was raised, emissions would be cut. What the Prime Minister was saying was that ticket costs would have to be raised very substantially to have an impact. All of this came down to a question about how the right technology could be developed to tackle the problem. The Prime Minister's belief was that first of all, the major economies had to be engaged, the US, India and China, but also, the need to develop technology which produced less emissions had to be engaged.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Joint Strike Fighter-F136

Asked if the Prime Minister was disappointed that President Bush had "pulled the plug" on the Joint Strike Fighter-F136 project, the PMOS said that the journalist was premature in his language. It was simply a statement of fact that a US budget was not complete until Congress had agreed, and there were a number of different stages. The President putting in his proposed budget to Congress was the first step.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked, referral to John Reid's speech tonight, could the Government reassure troops' families that any troops who had just come back from Iraq would not be sent straight on to Afghanistan, the PMOS replied that in terms of deployments, while he knew that the MOD did everything they could to ensure that deployments were as sensitive to families' needs as possible, he was not going to get into the detail of which regiments etc. That was matter for the MOD.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked for further clarification about local authority community schools, and whether, given what the Prime Minister had said that there would now be an automatic bias against the local council, the PMOS said: no. What the White Paper still retained was the distinction between commission and provider, i.e the local authority would not be able to decide that it should have the ability to build a school. Secondly, however, it was also right to say that the key principle in the White Paper was choice, and therefore, part of the choice, if it wished, was for the authority to be able to put forward a community school. Equally, however, it had to be clear that that school met the criteria in terms of standards, qualifications, and the overall quality of provision that was necessary. At the end of the day, it would be for the adjudicator to decide between the different options in any one area. Therefore, the adjudicator could decide what was the right solution.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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