» Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora-Middle East-Iraq

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that the Prime Minister had spoken to Prime Minister Siniora this afternoon, and he would also speak to Kofi Annan about the Sudan later on.

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


Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said this morning's Cabinet meeting was given over to the first full meeting of the Economic Policy Group. It was chaired by the Prime Minister and opened with a substantial presentation by the Chancellor. This was followed by a discussion of the issues to be addressed by the Group when it meets outside the Cabinet, chaired by the Chancellor (which all members of the Cabinet are able to attend). The Chancellor will then report back to full Cabinet, again chaired by the Prime Minister, at a second full meeting of the Economic Policy Group in the near future.

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

Mirza Tahir Hussain

Asked what was the Prime Minister's reaction to Mirza Tahir Hussain's sentence being commuted to life, and was there any discussion at Cabinet, the PMOS said it was not discussed at Cabinet this morning. However, the Prime Minister, like the Foreign Secretary, welcomes the decision by President Musharraf and welcomes the President's action in this case. Asked whether there had been any discussion beforehand, the PMOS said as journalists knew the matter had been discussed in the past not least at Chequers but this was very much a decision for President Musharraf and we welcome and respect the role he has played in this case.

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

Anti-terrorism orders

Asked if this was the first time that the Prime Minister had visited a nuclear power station, the PMOS said that as Prime Minister, it was the first time.

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

Cluster Bombs

Asked what was the policy on the UK's use of cluster weapons, the PMOS replied that the policy was that we used them in a managed and directed way, and that was within international law.

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


Asked whether the public should be alarmed at allegations that Spanish eggs sold in the UK contain Salmonella, the PMOS said eighty-five percent of eggs sold in the UK are laid in Britain! The PMOS said he never thought he would hear himself saying this at Lobby but this was a fact. By cooking eggs and handling eggs properly you can avoid Salmonella. The risk of Salmonella from contamination was very low, indeed significantly lower from the mid 1990's. The majority of UK flocks are vaccinated against salmonella, and the vaccination is mandatory under the Lion Quality scheme, which covers 80-% of UK eggs.

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

Prime Minister’s Queen’s Speech Online Interview

Asked whether the PMOS could explain a bit more about the Prime Minister's interview, the PMOS said the interview would be beamed out in exactly the same way as the interview in June. Anne McElvoy and Will Hutton will ask the Prime Minister five minutes of their own questions at the beginning, for the rest of the time they will put questions from the public

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

Police Inquiry

Put that it was currently being reported that the Labour party Chair had briefed the Prime Minister on the conversations she had had with the police about cash for honours, the PMOS said that, as always, this was an on-going police investigation and he refused to comment on any aspect of it.d if the police had been to No10, the PMOS replied: no.

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

President of Yemen

Asked what was on the agenda for the Prime Minister's meeting with the President of Yemen, the PMOS said they would discuss the reform programme in Yemen and we would express our support for it. They would also discuss regional issues as well.

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


Asked whether the PMOS could say anymore on the Prime Minister's conversation later today with Kofi Annan on Darfur, the PMOS said there was nothing really he could say ahead of the conversation, except set out our position on Darfur which was that there should be an expanded force but one which needed to be a effective now, whether that was under African control or UN control. However, for that to work there must be a ceasefire to which the Government of Sudan must agree. We must relaunch the political process with the Government talking to the non-signatories of the Darfur peace agreement, and we must get on with it. Therefore, what was important was the Government of Sudan actually making a choice on the way forward. That was the message both we and Kofi Annan believed in.

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

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