Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 3 May 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Usama Bin Laden, Cabinet meeting and police reforms

Usama Bin Laden

The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) began by drawing attention to the conclusion of the Prime Minister’s statement - ‘While we should continue to degrade, dismantle and defeat the terrorist networks…a big part of the long term answer is the success of democracy in the Middle East… and the conclusion of the Arab-Israeli peace process.’

When asked whether Pakistani intelligence knew Bin Laden’s location, the PMS replied that this was a US operation. The PMS advised that the Prime Minister had been clear on the relationship between Britain and Pakistan and the success of the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Pakistan.

On the Prime Minister’s comments on vigilance, the PMS clarified that the Prime Minister had echoed a statement made by the Home Secretary yesterday asking people at home and Britons travelling abroad to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.

When asked if the Prime Minister knew details of the events leading up to the death of Usama Bin Laden, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had been briefed on the operation in a telephone call from the US President, as stated to the House.

Asked whether the Prime Minister was satisfied with the actions and response of Pakistan, the PMS referred people to the Prime Minister’s statement which explained that we would work with the democrats in Pakistan to make sure the whole country shared the determination to fight terror.

When asked if the Prime Minister was planning to speed up withdrawl from Afghanistan, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was clear that there was an opportunity for the Taleban to participate in a peaceful process. The PMS stated that the mission in Afghanistan had not changed. The PMS said the focus was on making sure that Afghanistan did not become a safe haven for terrorists.

Cabinet Meeting

Asked if AV was raised at the Cabinet meeting this morning, the PMS confirmed that AV had been raised in the context of parliamentary business.

Asked for details on what was discussed, the PMS advised that the focus was on the death of Usama Bin Laden.

Asked if the Prime Minister had confidence in Chris Huhne, the PMS replied that he did.

Police Reforms

Put that Nick Clegg’s comments suggested the police reforms were not set in stone, the PMS responded that the police reforms were currently going through the House; they had been agreed by the Coalition and as set out in the Coalition agreement.