The Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon yesterday evening. The Prime Minister made clear Britain’s continued support for Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Prime Minister underlined his strong support for a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, ahead of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian talks being held in Cairo today.
The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that at Cabinet this morning they discussed the Pope’s visit, and the two summits the Deputy Prime Minister would be attending: the UN General Assembly and the Millennium Development Goals Summit. We would provide a further update once Cabinet had finished.
Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about warnings from a police chief this morning on the possibility of unrest and that cuts could lead to police forces not having the right resources, the PMS said that the Police Superintendent who had been speaking this morning did not say that they were predicting a rise in disorder or crime as a result of potential spending cuts. More generally we expected there to be significant debate over the coming weeks in the run up to the spending review. We would be getting on with the job of settling that spending review and taking decisions that reflected the long-term national interest.
Asked if the Prime Minister would accept that we were in an era where there could well be unrest, the PMS said that we were keen to conduct the spending review in a way that encouraged open debate and took people with us. We wanted to engage constructively with people who were delivering public services to ensure that we protected the frontline.