» Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Asked whether the Prime Minister had asked for an explanation from the Home Office as to why someone in such a senior position could not answers questions put to him on illegal immigration, the PMOS said that if people looked at the question of illegal immigrants, as the exchange at PMQs today had underlined, no government had ever been able to answer that question. If people looked at what was changing in the immigration service it did underline that progress was being made. As the Prime Minister had himself said at PMQs we were not pretending that the system was in any way near perfect, but in all fairness people had to acknowledge what had changed was for the better. The judgement that had to be made was whether things were going in the right direction: answer yes. Were things perfect: no. Put that it was a specific question about Mr Roberts’ performance in the job, the PMOS said that the question you needed to ask and answer first was whether any government minister or official been able to answer that specific question and the answer to that was no. Therefore people had to look at the situation in the round. It was not appropriate for the Prime Minister or his spokesman to comment on an individual civil servant.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Search for related news

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