» Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that the Prime Minister had congratulated Jaguar who had just won Car of the Year awards (Jaguar XK, Auto Express's Car of the Year). Other British-built winners were the Sunderland-built Nissan "Note", Swindon-made Honda "Civic", and the Solihull-built Landrover "Discovery". 00.01 Embargo.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Prime Minister’s Planes

Asked for further information about the Prime Minister's new planes, the PMOS informed journalists that this arose out of the fact that for reasons we could do nothing about, the existing aircrafts were getting older by the month. Valiant as the RAF attempts had been to keep them in proper order, there had been, both for ourselves and for others, problems about reliability. Therefore, it was something that we had to face up to, and we had commissioned Sir Peter Gershon to do a proper report into the costings. Sir Peter Gershon had come back with a proposal which was for two second hand planes to be leased. They would be at the disposal of The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, but also, then, Ministers, including the Prime Minister. One plane would be for short-haul, and the other for long-haul, with sufficient space for Her Majesty's lobby. What had not been decided was which type of plane would be used, as it was part of the tendering process, nor the precise fit, for the same reason.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Put that on the confirmation that the troops were pulling out of Iraq and were being re-deployed elsewhere, the border to Iran would be open and there were no Iraqi troops there, the PMOS said that the journalist was making all kinds of assumptions. Provinces would be handed over whenever the Iraqi Government believed it could have the necessary forces on the ground. Therefore, the assertion that the Iraqi troops would not be there would prove to be false.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Scottish-English Football Fans

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Jack McConnell's that England fans were "a bunch of rioters" in contrast to the peace-loving Scots, the PMOS said that he had not seen the comments, so it would be unwise to comment.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Paedophiles and News of the World

Asked whether the Prime Minister shared the views of Chief Constable Terry Granger that the News of the World was blackmailing the government on the issue of paedophiles, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said everyone needed to recognise that there was a balance to be struck between what was a genuine ongoing concern in many local communities around the country and the need to give the public information which reassured them whilst avoiding vigilantism. This was the essential balance. The Home Secretary had announced two perfectly sensible things. One, that paedophiles would not be housed in hostels near schools. Two, that Gerry Sutcliffe would travel to the US to study 10 years worth of experience of Megan's Law. Both of these were important and were not something we were rushing into. We were taking our time to study whether we could do more to get that balance right. This was a responsible thing for a government to do given that it was a subject of genuine concern in communities.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (4)

7/7 Inquiry

Put that the Times had alleged that they may have got the wrong Khan in Suskind's book, the PMOS said that he did not do book reviews and he did not comment on intelligence. He preferred to rely on the objective and independent assessment of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked about attacking judges, the PMOS said that there were issues around where it was perfectly proper that they were debated. The Home Secretary was perfectly right to articulate concerns. Equally, however, we were proud of having an independent judiciary, which was not afraid to speak its mind. Given that, however, you had to accept that there would be proper debate over issues as there should be in a democracy.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked if there was any reaction to Japanese withdrawal from Iraq, the PMOS said that it was a matter for the Japanese government, though he noted that they would continue to offer logistical support. Yesterday's announcement had been a significant step and the first step towards what Prime Minister Maliki had said would be a rolling programme of Iraq taking control of it's provinces. Asked about a timetable, the PMOS said that it was a matter for the Iraqi government.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked what the Prime Minister would be doing this evening, the PMOS said that as with last Thursday he would endeavouring to see as much of the match as possible. Asked whether the Cross of St George was flying above Downing Street, the PMSO said that it was along with the Union Jack.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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