» Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Veils Debate

Put by the BBC that if people were to understand the Prime Minister's press conference today, the Prime Minister believed that if Muslim were to integrate, they should remove their veils, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that what the Prime Minister said very carefully was that he believed that the local authority had handled this issue as well as they could have done. What the Prime Minister had also said was that there was a real debate to be had about the issues of separation and integration. The important thing about what the Prime Minister had said was, however, that this was not just an issue in this country, at this time. Rather, it was also an issue right across Europe, as well as many Middle Eastern countries too.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Put that the Prime Minister had made clear today that there would be no cutting and running with regards to Iraq, but was there any sense within Downing Street to re-appraise the situation, given the Baker Report and General Sir Richard Dannatt's recent comments, the PMOS replied that as the Baker Report was not yet published, it was always wise to not comment on unpublished reports. With regards to General Dannatt, what he had said was that the objective remained a unity democratic state in which the Iraqi Government was capable of looking after its own security and there was a prosperous economy. That was precisely our view. The people in the end who would decide how long we would stay in Iraq were the Iraqi Government, as they had been democratically elected. The PMOS said that that was the flip side that those who demanded that we got out soon did not answer. What could actually be done to ensure that a democratic Government remained in place? General Dannatt did also say that he was planning force packages for 2007/8, so the idea that he was suggesting that he was cutting and running was wide of the mark.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Control Orders

Asked if there were any plans for them to address any terror or crime issues, the PMOS replied that he did not talk about The Queen's speech until afterwards, as otherwise, he would be taken to the Tower, and he was sure that people would not want to be responsible for that!

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Northern Ireland

Asked if it was in the St. Andrews agreement that Martin McGuiness should swear an oath, the PMOS said that there was an issue about the pledge of office which was being debated in Belfast. It was always the case after agreements that there were matter of clarification, and that was happening at the moment. The PMOS said that it would not be wise for him to jump in.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Press Conference

Asked by Channel Four if it was to be standard that experts from the public sector would give a presentation at the Prime Minister's press conferences from now on, and could journalists put in requests for guests, such as the Chief of the Defence Staff, the PMOS said that to attempt the same tactic twice in one lobby was a bit like the scrum half that kept going down one channel, rather than using the full range! A bit obvious. With regards to picking a guest, the PMOS said that he could give a one-word answer: it had two letters, the last one being "o".

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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