» Monday, October 2, 2006

Northern Ireland/IMC Report

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) report would be a very significant report in that we hoped that it would provide a definitive answer to the question of whether the IRA campaign in all its forms was finally over, and on whether Sinn Fein, in word or deed, was living up to the commitments it had made to pursue its aims by solely political means. That would be a very important report, given the history of Northern Ireland, the island of Ireland and relations between Britain and Ireland. People would see the significance of the report.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked for further information regarding the Prime Minister's visit to Madrid this week, the PMOS replied that this was a long-planned summit, regarding such issues as world-wide terrorism, and migration, which was very much a live issue in Spain. In terms of ETA, the PMOS said that obviously we would be interested to hear how the talks process was going, but that was very much an internal Spanish matter, and it would therefore be for the Spanish Government to either raise the matter or not.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Soldiers’ pay

Asked if the Government was happy that soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan were getting below the national wage, the PMOS replied that what the figures that had been produced did not take into account was that throughout their career, our soldiers received an additional 13% allowance on top of their basic pay. That was available to them throughout their career. The PMOS said that if people looked at surveys that were done in 2002 and 2005 that were international comparisons, compared to other Commonwealth and NATO countries, we came out at around the top of that table. Equally, the Prime Minister asked several weeks ago that the whole package of support for our armed forces when they were abroad be looked at. The product of the review's findings should become available shortly.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Prime Minister Erdogan’s visit

Asked for further information about the Prime Minister's meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey this week, the PMOS said that obviously, as always when Prime Minister Erdogan came, part of it would be about Turkey's application to join the EU. Given Turkey's place in the world, people could also assume that issues such as terrorism would be high on the agenda. The PMOS reminded journalists that Turkey was also part of NATO.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked why the Prime Minister was meeting the CEO of Google this week, the PMOS replied that if he was, there was nothing unusual, as the Prime Minister met all sorts of people. However, if it was the case that there was a meeting, the Prime Minister had an interest in new technology, as was witnessed when we visited California recently.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Put that the Deputy Prime Minister had said last week that he would step down when the Prime Minister stepped down, and would the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman step down then as well, the PMOS replied that he was a civil servant, therefore his future was in the hands of the Head of the Civil Service.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

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