» Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) gave a readout of the Prime Minister's meeting with the Iraqi vice-president. They had discussed the security situation in Iraq, including the new security plans for Baghdad and Basra, the Iraqis taking over responsibility in Al-Muthana as well as the new reconciliation initiative announced by the Iraqi Prime Minister on Sunday.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Prime Minister

Asked if there was any reaction to today's front pages in the Telegraph and the Guardian about the Prime Minister standing down next year, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that the Prime Minister had a standard response to such stories. The PMOS said that he had checked the stories to see whether there was a single source, so a different response was needed, but since there wasn't, the standard response stood: we were not going to comment on such matters.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


The PMOS told journalists that the Prime Minister was meeting Ken Livingstone, Sebastian Coe, Paul Deighton - the chair and chief executive of the London Organising Committee, Jack Lemley and David Higgins - the chair and chief executive of London Delivery Authority along with Tessa Jowell. The Prime Minister believed that great progress had been made on the project since Singapore. For example over 90% of the land was under public ownership and the final site masterplan was published earlier this month, which fully integrated the Games and the legacy over 6 years out.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Parliament vote on war

Put that Jack Straw had said that in the future, governments would not declare war without a vote in Parliament, and was that now a Government policy, the PMOS replied that was not quite what Jack Straw had said. The Prime Minister had set this out in the Commons at PMQs, and where possible, governments did consult Parliament. There were circumstances where very quick action was needed, or where the element of surprise needed to be retained. In those circumstances, clearly, it was not always possible to consult Parliament.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Control Orders

Asked for a reaction to the ruling in the High Court that control orders were illegal under the ECHR, the PMOS said that it was difficult because the judge had not yet published his judgment. All he would say was that, as people knew, Parliament had discussed at length both the principle and the implementation of control orders and we had always maintained that, if necessary, we would take it through the courts as far as we needed to. We should wait for the final judgement though. Asked if this meant that the Government would appeal, the PMOS said that he didn't want to pre-empt the Home Office on matters which were primarily for them to respond to once they had the final judgement.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the Gaza invasion, the PMOS said that first, the kidnapped soldier needed to be returned unharmed. Obviously, we were concerned about the situation, and as always, we urged for all sides to act with restraint.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked for a response to Frank Field's remarks concerning immigration, the PMOS said that Frank Field spoke for himself and it was not for Downing Street to pronounce on the opinions of back-bench MPs. In terms of the issue of immigration itself he would simply point out that we had reached the tipping point in terms of there being more removals than failed applications for entry. We had seen progress on that, and the Home Office review would look at this issue and the detailed aspects of IND. We were fully aware of the issue and were acting on the issue of migration and had been for some time. At the same time we fully recognised the positive contribution that migrants made to this country and this country's economy. The fact was that our economy would not grow as strongly as it did without migration.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (4)


Asked if the UK was taking a hands-off approach to the current situation in Palestine given that the Prime Minister hadn't spoken to President Bush in 24 hours, the PMOS said that, as he had said this morning, first and foremost the soldier needed to be released. That was not a matter for the British or the US governments but for those holding the soldier. Secondly in terms of encouraging dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis we were continually involved in that in a variety of ways. The Prime Minister and President Bush did not need to speak on a daily basis to continue their efforts to make that happen. What we had to do was judge what was the most effective way to achieve the ends that we wanted. We wanted the release of the soldier and dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians. You had to judge whether that was most helped by commenting in public or working privately behind the scenes. Asked if we were working privately behind the scenes, the PMOS said that if he answered that question it would no longer be private or behind the scenes.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Other Business

Asked if John Prescott was value for money, the PMOS said if you looked at the number of cabinet committees that he chaired and if you looked at what the Prime Minister had said at the time of the last reshuffle, he had set out quite clearly why he believed John Prescott was an important member of the Government.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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