» Monday, June 12, 2006

Middle East Peace Process

Asked what the Prime Minister thought of the realignment plan, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said this was a case of getting horses and carts in the right order. The Prime Minister had said that the first priority was a negotiated settlement and he had set out why a negotiated settlement was in the interests of everybody, including Israel. A negotiated settlement would stick. Almost more importantly, if you could say such a thing, was that Prime Minister Olmert had said the exact same thing as he had also said at the White House. The priority therefore was not to jump ahead of where we were, but rather put all the effort behind the negotiated settlement. That was in the end what would work best. Having said that we recognised that for that to happen Israel had to have a viable negotiating partner on the Palestinian side. Prime Minister Olmert had made it clear this was his approach. It was right to focus primarily on what Prime Minister Olmert believed his first priority to be - a negotiated settlement. We would do everything we could to help persuade the Palestinians to become the viable negotiating partner that Israel needed.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Carbon Neutral-energy efficiency

Asked for further information about the Government's carbon neutral scheme, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Government would go carbon neutral by 2012, reducing our overall emissions by 30% by 2020, and offsetting the remainder. This would save an estimated 800,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which was the equivalent of taking 750,000 cars off the road.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Lenient Judges

Asked whether the Prime Minister had a view on the Sun's campaign against soft judges, the PMOS remarked that he had expected this question when he had seen the Sun's journalist come in. No doubt the answer would be longer than he might hope for. It was important in this country that judges remained independent of government and other pressures. It was also equally important that the court system respected the views of victims and the impact of crime on victims. We had a system whereby if the Attorney General believed that a sentence was too lenient it could be appealed to the Court of Appeal. This was the way the current system worked and the published list showed where this had happened. A separate process overseen by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice was in place, quite rightly, for when it was believed that a judge should face disciplinary action.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Sir Richard Mottram-intelligence

Asked if Sir Richard Mottram had been told about the raid in Forest Gate, the PMOS said that he was not going to get into detail on this subject for obvious reasons. The PMOS said that if the journalist was referring to yesterday's Observer article, it was inaccurate.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Hazel Blears that people should stop talking about the leadership issue, the PMOS said that this was a party matter, but as people could see the Prime Minister was focused on getting on with the job of being Prime Minister. Most recently he had been working hard on pensions, the respect agenda, the future energy needs of this country and foreign policy issues such as Iraq and the Middle East Peace Process.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Prime Minister Olmert

Asked if there was any specific message or outcome that the Government was looking for as a result of Prime Minister's Olmert's meeting with the Prime Minister today, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister obviously wanted to welcome Prime Minister Olmert in his first official visit to London as Prime Minister. They would clearly want to talk about the similar terrain that was gone over at the White House, and we welcomed what Prime Minister Olmert had said there about his preference being for a negotiated settlement. That was our strong preference as well. Equally, we recognised that there had to be a viable partner to negotiate with on the Palestinian side, but we believed that a negotiated settlement was in the interests of all sides. The PMOS said that everyone knew what the answer to the issue was. It was a two-state solution, and therefore, the sooner that both sides started talking about that, the better.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Anti Social Behaviour

Asked whether Louise Casey's comments on encouraging people to be proactive on ASB had come from last week's cabinet committee and why had they taken so long to emerge, the PMOS suggested that although, no doubt, decisions at the BBC were actioned instantly things took a little longer in government. People should not get hung up on what was one idea in the discussion, but to take on board the principle that would be implemented. This government had brought in the ASB legislation, run pilot projects and was now extending it across the country because we recognised that for too long people had suffered from antisocial behaviour and not known what to do about it. We had now given local communities, local police forces and local authorities the means by which to do something about it. We had to break through and encourage local people in estates to believe something could be done so that they knew if they were to speak up they would be listened to and see action.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Anti social behaviour

Asked for further information about John Reid's contribution to the Cabinet Committee and who should stop moaning, the PMOS replied that Louise Casey had said this morning that this was never a detailed proposal, but rather, it was part of a discussion. The Government's approach was precisely that we did want people to complain and draw attention to anti social behaviour in their area, and to raise their voices to ensure it was addressed. Louise Casey had put this properly in perspective, as she said that we had never encouraged people to be vigilantes, nor would we encourage people to do so. However, what we did do was to encourage people to actively draw attention to problems in their areas. The problem was when people became so down-hearted, that they did not believe anyone would listen. The message was that the Government believed that the Government, police, and local authorities should be listening, and were listening.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Sir Ian Blair

Asked why the Prime Minister still had had full confidence in Sir Ian Blair, the PMOS said the Prime Minister had remarked at his press conference that he was fully aware that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner had always been a difficult job whatever. The Prime Minister was fully aware that it was particularly difficult at a time when we were facing major terrorist threats. He believed that it was absolutely right for the police and security agencies to act on the basis of credible intelligence. Therefore the Prime Minister believed that it was right to express his support for Sir Ian Blair and his team.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Climate Change

Asked if the Prime Minister was going to rule out climate change incentives for nuclear power plants, the PMOS replied that people should wait for the energy review and see the actual facts, rather than speculating.

Briefing took place at 12:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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