» Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Police Investigation

Asked if the Prime Minister might be required to give evidence to the police as part of their investigation into political funding, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that he didn't give a running commentary on any police investigation, this investigation was no different. As Mike O'Brien had said that allegations had been made which the police were looking into, but just because those allegations had been made that did not mean there was any truth in them.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Ashok Kumar

Asked if Ashok Kumar still had his job, the PMOS said that this was a matter for the chief whip. Asked if the Prime Minister had a view on Mr Kumar appearing to say that the Prime Minister should leave office rapidly, the PMOS said that he was not going to get involved in commenting on the assumptions contained in that question. It was a matter for the chief whip. Asked if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Hilary Benn, the PMOS said yes. Asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to Hilary Benn or intended to speak to him, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister has been very busy today and had an extraordinarily busy schedule tomorrow.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

John Prescott

Asked if the Prime Minister had told John Prescott his timetable, the PMOS referred journalists to the John Prescott's words at PMQs. Asked what those words meant, the PMOS said that was for them to work out. Asked if he was suggesting that the public should engage in a guessing game as to when the Prime Minister was leaving, the PMOS said that John Prescott, as always, spoke for himself.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (4)

ID Cards Bill

Asked if the Government had a strategy to rescue the ID cards Bill from pinging back and forth between the Commons and the Lords, the PMOS said that the consistent majority of votes in the Commons for ID cards reflected public opinion which supported the principle of ID Cards and we believed that the Lords should take account of that. The votes in the Commons had ranged from 33 to 51 in favour.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked what the objectives were for the visit to Indonesia, the PMOS said that in terms of police co-operation, that would be one of the issues discussed tomorrow. There had already been close co-operation as could only be expected after the bombings in Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia. We were normalising relations in terms of defence. For obvious reasons he couldn't go into the detail of those discussions. This visit was all about normalising relations with a democratic, muslim country which was looking very much towards mainstream Islamic thinking and working with other countries, including the UK, to take on and tackle the issue of Islamic extremism. That would be partially through political means, including creating a dialogue with Muslims in both countries, but also police and defence issues as well.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked when the Prime Minister planned to meet newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the PMOS said that the phone call between the Prime Minister and Mr Olmert had taken place literally just before Mr Olmert made his statement. Therefore it could not be described as a long and detailed conversation. The Prime Minister had congratulated both Mr Olmert and his party and said that this changed the shape of Israeli politics and was an extraordinary personal achievement for Mr Olmert. The Prime Minister had told Mr Olmert that he looked forward to meeting him soon to discuss plans to take the peace process forward. He urged all parties to pursue the positive engagement policy set out by the Quartet. It had been a very warm conversation.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked for a reaction to the report on Deepcut, the PMOS said that we had had the review, which the MOD had made clear was a detailed and painstaking report. It did contain serious recommendations, which would be taken very seriously indeed to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all our personnel. We were committed to continuous improvement and we had no reason to believe that the MOD and the army were anything other than fully committed to taking forward those recommendations.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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