Briefing by the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: TUC invitation, rape anonymity laws, Russian spy case, Lockerbie and Raoul Moat.
Asked whether it was the Prime Minister’s intention to accept an invitation to attend the TUC conference, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that he did not know whether an invitation had been received. The PMS added that in any case, we would not confirm the Prime Minister’s diary this far in advance.
Rape Anonymity Laws
On whether the Prime Minister was relaxed about the Government pushing ahead with rape anonymity laws, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that he did not think there was a great deal to add to what the Prime Minister had said in the House on past occasions; it was something that he thought should be looked at and he made clear he would listen to the different views on this issue. The intention here was to ensure we had a system that was fair and effective.
Asked what the Prime Minister’s personal view was on the issue, the PMS said that the Prime Minister thought that this was an issue we should look at. It was also mentioned in the Coalition document.
Put that there were suggestions in the press over the weekend that the anonymity law could be extended to paedophiles, the PMS replied that the area being looked at was anonymity in rape cases. Put that the two were connected, the PMS reiterated that the policy was about rape.
Asked if this was solely in connection with rape cases and no other sexual offences, the PMS referred people to the Coalition document.
Russian Spy Case
Put that there were reports that Russian spies could be swapped for people being held in the UK, the PMS said that this was an issue for the US authorities and we would not comment on intelligence issues.
Put that a number of US Senators had written to the Prime Minister requesting an investigation into the Lockerbie bombing, the PMS said that he had not seen the letter so would need to come back to people on the matter.
Asked what the view of the Prime Minister was on the Lockerbie bombing when he was in opposition, the PMS replied that it was not for him to comment on what the Prime Minister had said in opposition.
Asked if the Prime Minister was happy with how the hunt for Raoul Moat was progressing, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had made clear in the House that it would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation.