» Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Asked whether the announcement that British troops would receive anything they needed had been cleared with the Treasury, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said, as the Prime Minister had this morning, that we had not yet received any request for extra resources. It was still being worked through the system. If and when we did we would consider it and supply whatever was necessary. Asked what the Government's policy was on the poppy harvest, the PMOS said we had well worked out plans for encouraging farmers to eradicate poppies and generate alternate incomes, which they could talk to DfID about, but you had to have a security environment to encourage that. If you did not have that security environment then people would find it more difficult to have viable alternative forms of income. This was why security and the future of the economy went hand in hand.

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

Deputy Prime Minister

Asked whether the Prime Minister was satisfied that there was no conflict of interest over casinos, the PMOS said that he had not seen the latest allegations from the opposition so he could not comment on them. The Deputy Prime Minister had put out a statement on Saturday in relation to these matters and we had nothing further to add that statement. Asked whether the Prime Minister had asked Sir John Bourne to look into it, the PMOS said no. Asked whether the Prime Minister had met Mr Anschutz, the PMOS said that he was not aware of any meetings. Asked whether the Prime Minister still had full confidence in the Deputy Prime Minister, the PMOS said that the answer was the same as the last time he had been asked, which was yes.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Information Commissioner

Asked whether Downing Street had any plans to publish details following the Information Commissioner's suggestion that the Prime Minister's meetings with Rupert Murdoch could be listed, the PMOS said that he did not think that was official yet but we would obviously consider carefully what the Commissioner said. Asked why the government was resisting, the PMOS said that it was important that the Prime Minister be able to have private conversations with individuals, as had been the case for any Prime Minister. Put that it was the fact of the meeting not the conversation that was of public interest, the PMOS said that it was still important that the Prime Minister could have private conversations with individuals without having them listed every time, and that included the media, even the ones present in this briefing room.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (4)


Asked whether the Prime Minister was prepared to suspend the extradition treaty with the US until Senate ratification, the PMOS pointed out that we had the exact same situation with the EU as with the US, as such that was the spirit with which we approached this issue. Put that it was not reciprocal with the US, the PMOS said that we had expressed our view in the hope that it would be ratified. People should not pretend that this was a US specific issue as we had the same relationship with the rest of the EU.

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

Liaison Committee-Muslim Engagement

Asked why the Prime Minster had taken a belligerent tone as Muslim representative's reaction to those comments seemed to show they had not helped improve relations, the PMOS said that the response from within the Muslim community was not as uniform as was being suggested. The Prime Minister's comments should not be a surprise as we had ruled out a public inquiry in the past. When you had 70 ongoing investigations, as Peter Clarke from the Metropolitan Police had confirmed yesterday, the argument for not diverting attention, energy and resources away from those investigations was a powerful one. In terms of what we had done there was no point hiding the fact that we strongly disagreed with the suggestion that nothing had been done in the last year. Of the 64 recommendations that the various working parties had come up with 27 were for government. Two had been completed: One, extending provision of equal opportunities and recent equality law to cover discrimination on the grounds of faith and two, ensuring that the youth green paper was accessible to Muslim youth. There were another 17 of the government recommendations either in progress or already happening. This included an FCO and Home Office programme for young Muslims to visit Islamic countries.

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

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