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Secret interview

Nick Robinson | 11:30 UK time, Thursday, 1 February 2007

"Nothing has changed." That's what journalists have been told each and every day when we have asked whether the prime minister has been interviewed by the police.

At this morning's Lobby briefing, a grim-faced Tom Kelly - the prime minister's official spokesman - revealed that, in fact, Tony Blair was questioned as a witness by police for the second time last Friday morning.

Had Kelly misled us? He insisted that he and the entire Number Ten media team were themselves unaware of this news until late yesterday, and therefore he had never knowingly misled journalists. The interview had been kept secret, he said, at the specific request of the Metropolitan Police. We await a statement from them with interest.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 11:51 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Jez Gee wrote:

Funny how it happened on Friday but only came out today - conveniently missing PMQ's and all the Sunday Papers.

  • 2.
  • At 11:51 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

Shouldn't the PM keep his OS up-to-date before he announces untruths?

Things can only get better.

  • 3.
  • At 11:51 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

If for one second you really believe that the entire No 10 media team were unaware that B-liar had been re-interviewed then I suggest you get your heads out of the sand.

Can we also now look forward to the BBC actually discussing this without the assistance of so called 'experts' who seem to be Guardian employees?.

This entire scandal is making the UK a laughing stock, if Mr B-liar wishes to leave office without further damaging revelations I suggest that he resign now, I further recommend that the BBC send out a search party to find Gordon Brown who as always is not visible whenever Labour are in trouble.

Also, why not have a HYS and ask the question is 'Labour fit for purpose'.

  • 4.
  • At 11:56 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Mary Atherden wrote:

Here's a thought. Our Prime Minister is interviewed last Friday. Lord Levy is then arrested. Could he be the 'fall guy'?

Why should the interview be kept secret? Tony Blair is our Prime Minister and is (despite the fact he obviously thinks to the contrary) accountable to us. The whole thing stinks.

Alistair Campbell would be proud of the Downing Street press office, what timing! If I remember correctly, when Mrs Thatcher become a problem for the Tory party she was visited by "men in grey suits", perhaps the time has come for a return call to prevent any more dificulties for New Labour.

  • 6.
  • At 12:03 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • john wrote:

Interesting that you feel that you have a right to a blow by blow account of an ongoing criminal investigation. The extent to which the police are now using the media as part of the prosecution process has obviously made you think that this an entitlement. Having seen American style trial by media (eg. OJ Simpson) I think the secrecy which used to be imposed years ago prior to the proper trial needs to be enforced again.

  • 7.
  • At 12:04 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Chris Wills wrote:

If it looks like a fish, if it smells like a fish and if it swims like a fish then I would want some very good evidence to prove it isn't a fish. Doesn't the Labour government have any shame? They are so patronising. On the one hand they expect us to believe there is hard evidence for terrorism hence all these arrests and activity with few or no charges; and on the other hand they want us to believe there is no substance to police activity concerning cash for peerages. They must think we the public are stupid, but then I suppose we are, after all we voted them in. Never again...

Blair interviewed last Friday, and then Levy arrested again on Tuesday. Hmmmm, Blair throwing Levy to the wolves to save his own skin?

  • 9.
  • At 12:06 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Malcolm wrote:

Tony Blair as a witness for the prosecution - how bizarre!

  • 10.
  • At 12:06 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Neil Small wrote:

I think the quicker the Met Police resolve the issue the better. The speculation gets worse the longer this goes on.

Downing Street would also be advised to come clean on what - if anything - has happened.

  • 11.
  • At 12:15 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • sid trotter wrote:

For a government that promotes transparency and open government, this stinks of behind the scenes and closed door deals - faceless corruption at the highest level.

Such secrecy gives the impression that there is a lot more to hide than anything else.

Did Arthur Daley get a peerage? he should have. He would have been right at home with this lot.

  • 12.
  • At 12:20 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Jane Hill wrote:

Move on! This is yet another media generated "scandal" "why weren't we told about the interview?" because the Met instructed to keep it quiet - end of story!

The issues we are more interested in are the daily "scandals" that eminate from the Health Service complete self distruction and ditto the Prison Service and Sentencing which seems to bear no resemblemce to any form of common sense.

Of course the honours "scandal" is important but stop dwelling on the cynical trivia and tittle-tattle.

  • 13.
  • At 12:22 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Dominic Finnigan wrote:

Nick,

I'm sorry but how can anyway keep going back to the last tory government when people mention sleeze. When this Labour government has done so much to take the trophy of all time sleeze bags in such glorious fashion. Cover up after cover up after cover up. If we all cast our minds back to the swagger of John Prescot entering Downing Street and the now infamous "We will be the party whiter than white" statement from Tony Blair. How they must cringe now when they get reminded.

Keep turning the knife is all say! or infact you shouldn't need to since they do it themselves rather well!

Dominic, Labour Heartland!

  • 14.
  • At 12:23 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Andrew Briggs wrote:

OK Nick - please explain this to me -what has to happen for Blair to resign/be forced to resign/be sacked etc ?
1. Be arrested.
2. Be charged.
3. Be convicted.

Is there anything in the Labour party's rules or in legislation that would force him to go if one of the above happened ? (Obviously honour and integrity would have no effect - he would just issue a statement that he had complete faith in ........ himself !)

Next, on the same basis, if he did 'go' for legal reasons, is there anything which would then legally force a general election ? If so his whole government would be so tainted by association that it would be a straight fight between Conservatives and Lib Dems. So how mixed are Gordon Brown's feelings at the moment ?

What are your views on the likelihood of the above sequence of events ?

  • 15.
  • At 12:24 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • B E Kerrison wrote:

Will Mr Blair's DNA have been taken?

  • 16.
  • At 12:28 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Pete 'L' wrote:

Whilst I appreciate the seriousness of this matter I can't help feeling that if the Metropolitan Police had anything tangible in the way of evidence then they would have made it public by now if only in the form of an interim statement.
I'm impressed that our police are 'media savvy', but surely inuendo and leaks are what the media accuses politicians of and the police are supposed to be above such underhand practices?

  • 17.
  • At 12:30 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Neal Stamp wrote:

Tony Blair & his government are now being seen for what they are. Corrupt, devious, spineless & trough diving individuals who should resign immediately. Every day they stay in power is a slap in the face for democracy. Even the Deputy PM has said he was 'demod happy' in front of everyone at the House of Commons. You can't really cap that can you?

We need this problem sorted out now otherwise the already tarnished image of British politics will be mudded forever.

  • 18.
  • At 12:30 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • David B wrote:

I have never known anything like this before at such a high level. If it gets much worse I think Blair should call a general election and resign.

  • 19.
  • At 12:31 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Does the Government seriously expect us to beleive Tony Blair was alone with Police for 45 minutes and no-one within Number 10 knew???? The most imporatnt Political figure in the country goes AWOL for three quarters of an hour in this time of 'heightened security', and no-one questioned this? If this wasn't so patronising it would be hilarious...!

  • 20.
  • At 12:32 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • David wrote:

Oh dear, detention & extra homework for anyone who is seriously surprised by this I think.

  • 21.
  • At 12:33 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Clare wrote:

Another demonstration of the way this government uses the media to its advantage, with its decision of what to tell and its decision of what not to tell.

Such examples just make it harder and harder for the general public to:

a. believe anything which comes from government sources

b. wonder why the government goes to such lengths to decide what information is and is not disclosed

  • 22.
  • At 12:33 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • bill wrote:

Is this the way of government in the future? Are we going to have a PM who is regularly interviewed by the police while members of his closer circle are arrested even more regularly? What does it take in Britain for someone to step down from high office? We have a PM who misled the country into a disastrous war and now is tainted by the suspicion of corruption, but he can choose his date of departure. And we call it democracy and want to export it to 'lesser' cultures.

  • 23.
  • At 12:34 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • david pugh wrote:

After failing to have to answer for the illegal invasion of Iraq that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent men women and children Tony Blair must feel he can do anything. The pity is that such is the corruption in British politics he almost certainely can !

  • 24.
  • At 12:35 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Jeff Parry wrote:

Why are you so surprised? This government has operated this way since it came to power. Was it not better for the PM's interview to be buried by the uproar over his aide? This does not sound right as the Met have been happy to publicise the previous arrests and questioning.

Maybe Tony thinks he deserves preferential treatment.

At this rate he'll be gone from office before the case is closed.

  • 25.
  • At 12:36 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • AMcR wrote:

Is anyone really surprised by this latest news? TB has proved to be excellent at spin and this latest information is not something even he can change so he witholds the information. A typical reaction from a lame duck PM who should stand down but hasn't the moral decency to do so.
Still the longer he stays on the better chance the Tories have of returning to power and a Tony clone to continue messing things up

  • 26.
  • At 12:36 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

What a wonderful slow burner this story is!

When will it ignite - can't wait!!

  • 27.
  • At 12:37 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Eddie Dinnage wrote:

Nick, seriously, this is now becoming more scarier and sinister by the second.

I am beginning to suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg, when we look at the record of New Labour we see secrecy and spin on CJD, Dr Kelly, WMD in Iraq, pesnsion raids, and the list is by no means exhaustive.

I congratulate your on your, dare I say it, peerless reporting!, if New Labour are to salvage any sort of credibility it should admit there has been wrong doing and give themselves an ASBO.

Aristocratic Status Buying Order, not that one, the other sort!

  • 28.
  • At 12:43 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Simon Lowans wrote:

I have been a big supporter of Tony Blair since he came to power and think he has tried to what is right. But now feel however, it is time for him to step down immediately as his legacy and what reputation he has left is diminished more day by day.

  • 29.
  • At 12:44 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Alan Merricks wrote:

As we watch the government and the Labour Party slowly but surely implode, and as I listen to the never ending statements of dissatisfaction with life in this country of ours (Britain? England? Take your pick)and as I look at what alternatives to this government are available, I begin to tremble.

Because there is now nothing there.

  • 30.
  • At 12:46 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Nick Beer wrote:

I think this whole saga is totally disgraceful and even if, I say if, the PM and members of his team are proven inocent I do believe this has damaged what Britain has stood for over the century's.

  • 31.
  • At 12:46 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Rohan wrote:

Will you be updating your cynicism in the light of the Scotland Yard statement now released or are they too part of the great conspiracy in your unctuous universe?

  • 32.
  • At 12:48 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Donald wrote:

Whiter than white, cleaner than clean?

  • 33.
  • At 12:50 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • PottedMeat wrote:

The timed release of news from the Government was a very clever tactic when New Labour took power. Now, it is so obvious what they are doing, it's become fairly insulting.

  • 34.
  • At 12:50 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Kevin Abbott wrote:

Cash for questions, the private finance initiative, dodgy dossiers, cash for peerages, the Home Office in turmoil... where does it all end?

The Labour Party has taken the scandals that embroiled the Tories in the Nineties and trumped them with a Royal Flush!

  • 35.
  • At 12:54 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Clive Bagshaw wrote:

With this investigation deepening by the week, it is time the Queen made it clear publically,that she will not give consent to any new peers untill this investigation & any subsequent enquiry that follows is completed.
She is suppose to be the protector of our constitution & ensuring the executive is seen to act beyond reproach is part of that.It could not be seen as a party political - biased intervention,as the investigation includes all parties.
Time for her to get off that fence she has been sitting on through out her reign & acted in the best interests of preserving the public confidence in the legislature.

  • 36.
  • At 12:56 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Laraine wrote:

Could it be any grimmer for Labour as a whole? Sadly, is it not a case of a presidential demeanor, excluding itself from much-required all inclusive participation, for too long?On the other hand, will the electorate (esp old labour voters) EVER FORGIVE an indolent, lazy, House of fellow Members, 96% of whom are "seeing out their upcoming retirement"/or,too young, and neurotic,to "rock the boat" with interceptions? The British public deserve SO MUCH BETTER. Bring on the Orange Jump Suits, I say. Or, isn't there a job coming up in Cuba? One man - one island!

This suggests to me that he has said (or not said) something in that interview which led to the re-arresting of his close friend and ally, Lord Levy. Although I could be reading too much into the timing of that.

Which could explain the "operational reasons" request for a black out about the interview: bit embarrassing if Levy was to have left the country over the weekend...

  • 38.
  • At 01:09 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Eddie Young wrote:

Let's keep a perspective here. If the police made all their interviews and deliberations public, not only would they be bogged down serving the 24 hour media but very few trials would ever come to fruition.
It is enough we know that the questioning took place. There is no requirement to go public with the content of the interview until/unless the case is made for the issue to come before a court.
I suspect the media's reaaction is inspired by an inflated sense of their right to know rather tahn any desire to see justice done.

  • 39.
  • At 01:20 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Bob Roberts wrote:

I am sure that if was so embroiled in an issue like this, my employer would "suggest" I took some time off. Shouldn't Blair now announce his retirement to avoid the damage he is doing to this country's reputation. Mind you if the Americans see him as a British "Nixon" he's probably lost his pension from the Speaker circuit.

  • 40.
  • At 01:23 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • oliver behzadi wrote:

interesting how this news comes a day after the terror suspect arrests- news management or something else going on.

  • 41.
  • At 01:24 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Jeff Whitear wrote:

Nothing will come of this - it will all get brushed under the carpet like everything else 'dirty' that comes out of No.10 and the Labour Party.

A Democracy? don't make me laugh :-)

  • 42.
  • At 01:26 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Danny wrote:

What's the problem with cash for honours? Let's make it completely transparent and just flog them on Ebay! If people are vain or stupid enough to want these things, then they can bid for them on the open market (just like buying a personalised number plate). The whole system is so discredited, it no longer matters.

  • 43.
  • At 01:27 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Simon Robertson wrote:

I'm interested to know when it was that the last serving British PM was invited, twice, to help with police inquiries? Perhaps finally we know what Blair will be remembered for or is this just his idea of being tough on crime and its causes?

Please can we have a general election soon?

  • 44.
  • At 01:30 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Steve Jones wrote:

Does anyone know how the different types of honours (commercial versus honourable) can be differentiated, and would it bad manners to ask holders of honours whether their particular honour is actually worth honouring?

  • 45.
  • At 01:32 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Simon Robertson wrote:

I'm interested to know when it was that the last serving British PM was invited, twice, to help with police inquiries? Perhaps finally we know what Blair will be remembered for or is this just his idea of being tough on crime and its causes?

Please can we have a general election soon?

  • 46.
  • At 01:32 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • David Evans wrote:

Ahh..the court of public opinion.

"M'Lord, may I submit that there is no smoke without fire, and we believe that Blair fellow must be hiding something. It stands to reason. I rest my case."

If there is one thing this government is bad at (and there are many), it is keeping secrets. I just won't buy this 'conspiracy all the way to the top' stuff purely on the basis of speculation. When the police bring a case (if they do), I'm sure we'll have plenty to get excited about, but I'm a bit tired of stories about interviews, sans substance...

...sorry

  • 47.
  • At 01:34 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Terry wrote:


So, No 10 kept secret by denying that the police had interviewed Tony.

I was just wondering Nick, how this 'keeping secret by denial' squares with the "flatly denied" description you gave to other allegations that have been put to No 10. If it's so easy to dismiss a 'denial', then clearly we can expect the dismissal of a 'flat denial' at somepoint in the future.

As a journalist, how on earth can you ever believe what the government is telling you? No wonder the government pressurised the Beeb to cover less serious stories on the news, since a daily diet of the political and economic truth would have got them ejected at the last election.

  • 48.
  • At 01:35 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • yatpac wrote:

Well why should we think any of this will come to rest at number 10, after all our PM has become known as Mr Teflon, as nothing sticks? Perhaps he genuinely thinks that the old saying “you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time” should be changed to “you can fool all of the people ALL of the time.
Oh for a descent opposition so this government can be shown up for what they truly are.

  • 49.
  • At 01:36 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Alice wrote:

I really don't see how the PMOS couldn't have known. Must be a lot of hacked-off journalists in Westminster today!

  • 50.
  • At 01:38 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • robin wrote:

"Whiter than white"
"Things can only get better"
"Education, education, education"

Ring any bells? When will this whitewashing bunch get the message that things will only get better when they clear off? And that includes Gordon, whose only success is to drive the UK economy, health service, education and pensions system into a brick wall. Congratulations, lads. You've had your chance now clear off.

  • 51.
  • At 01:38 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • nads wrote:

Yes it missed PMQ, yes it missed the Sunday Papers - BUT - it is just in time for QuestionTime tonight... boy am I looking forward to that.

  • 52.
  • At 01:40 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • John Bligh wrote:

The preconceptions (and possible misconceptions) displayed by most people commenting here are almost certainly part of the new, "instant news = instant gratification", trial-by-media culture that is such an unpleasant and dangerous side of Britain today. A media-induced frenzy is pumped up and when the outcome is not what this frenzy has "deduced", self-justified cries of "Cover up" and "Political dishonesty" resound round the land. It's not healthy.

  • 53.
  • At 01:42 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • R H Jones wrote:

This entire matter raises serious constitutional questions for the UK, including the politisation of the Attorney General, and how impossible it has become from him to give impartial legal advice on any issue, particularly this one. Blair and his government have paid such under disregard to the pillars of our democracy that the sooner their grip on the reigns of power are removed, the sooner we can start repairing the very serious damage to the values we hold most dear to us.

  • 54.
  • At 01:43 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

There has always been a question mark over cash for honours regardless of which political party was in power.

In order to take the spectre of wrongdoing out of it, I think that it should be made legal. If we knew that a Knighthood was £1million, a peerage was £2million and so on, it may give further alternatives to spend money for those that have it coming out of their ears. Perhaps for the less financially well endowed, we could use our sainsbury rewards points (or should that be award points).

It would save the police millions of pounds of taxpayers money, and thousands of hours of work. In the meantime, perhaps we could honour the police inspector if he charges Tony Blair.

  • 55.
  • At 01:43 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Malcolm Handley wrote:

What a load of flapdoodle - talk about setting hares running. So the PM was aksed to clarify a few matters, the police have confirmed. So what. It hardly constitutes a new enquiry or a great revelation. This is nothing more than the Westminster Village being reported on by someone doing a great job of acting like a rookie reporter on weekly free sheet. It is only of any interest to the duller sections of the opposition groups and the Westminster hacks themselves.
C'mon Nick, get your notebook out and get your head around some proper stories. Let's hear what New Labour has in line for new policies if it has any - or if Mr Cameron is now ready to offer anything more concrete than the best summers, nicest white Christmas and sweeties and jam for everyone or if the Lib Dems are ready to come clean and say exactly what they are offering.
Politics can be dull enough without trying to make inane twaddle the topic of the day.


  • 56.
  • At 01:45 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Nick Holdsworth wrote:

If I was a Muslim in Birmingham today I'd feel pretty sick: one rule for one and another for others?

  • 57.
  • At 01:49 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Richard Weatherill wrote:

Blair surely has nothing to worry about. After all, we have his word that he's "whiter than white".

  • 58.
  • At 01:53 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Why was a 'Civil Service notetaker ... present' (today's report) at the PM's questioning? This is a criminal enquiry, and people are involved as HM's Subjects, surely not in any 'official' capacity however august their position. Now who will pay back for the time spent by Civil Service Mandarins who are salaried and pensioned by OUR taxes?

Go get 'em, Mr Plod, and not just the current mob (some of whom may even deserve a 'tried harder' award) but all the venal careerist politicos who would claim to represent us.

  • 59.
  • At 01:53 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Mike Holden wrote:

Earlier poster John used the analogy of the OJ Simpson 'trial by media' to suggest the British public shouldn't be kept fully informed. Wasn't OJ Simpson the guy who was found Not Guilty, though later found 'responsible'? I'm sure Tony Blair would be more than happy with a similar outcome!

I am a Labour supporter whose feels their trust in the government has been betrayed by this and many similar actions in recent years.

  • 60.
  • At 01:54 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

We appear to live in a 24 hour media world with acres of space to fill with news. So how can it be that the level of investigative journalism conducted with regard to Mr Blair is so superficial that we only ever find out what the authorities wish us to hear at the time that is convenient to them? Are there any real journalists left?

From where I am sitting, it would be relatively straightforward for BBC journalists (rather than reporters) to get their teeth in to Blair, as they did with the Major government years ago, and force him to account for everything in his time as PM. Up until now, the BBC along with most other media output, seem happy to give him the benefit of the doubt, even although they are having to speak to us from on top of the ever swelling piles of lies that have emanated from our so called PM.

Could it be that the style, depth and scale of reporting (or lack thereof) is because the BBC is not as independent as it would like us all to believe? For goodness sake, someone prove me wrong and get to the bottom of this mess before our system becomes so tarnished that no one will ever believe a word that any politician or journalist ever says again.

  • 61.
  • At 02:09 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Mark Stevens wrote:

Democracy, What Democracy??
Blair should have gone ages ago, he knows it, Gordon Brown knows it (but hasn't had the stomach for the fight) the rest of the Labour Party knows it and the whole of the country knows it. Of course there are cover ups and there has been ever since the death of Dr David Kelly who's supposed suicide is still open to debate as led by Norman Baker MP for Lewes. You can't trust this Prime Minister or any of his Cabinet as they are all in this mess together save a few of the more honest members.

  • 62.
  • At 02:15 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • AMJ wrote:

Why didn't you and the rest of the media ask the police if they had re-interviewed the Prime Minister? or are you doing only half a job, or could it be you are waiting for the proposed police interview on the Today programme, or is it easier to speculate than to investigate.

In Birmingham yesterday the police made arrests after 6 months of investigation into a very shadowy world of suspected terrorists, so why after 10 months investigation no arrest for a simple case.

  • 63.
  • At 03:29 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • JB wrote:

Nick,

Do you feel that Tom Kelly has made you look slightly ridiculous? I appreciate that a blatant lie by the PMOS doesn't make your job any easier, but feeding the public the unchallenged party line does no-one (other than No. 10) any favours. It comes across as lazy reporting at best.

  • 64.
  • At 04:14 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Terry wrote:


At the risk of hogging space on this blog, I think it is worth pointing out to those who think that there are more important matters than the sale of peerages that actually, people are being elevated to make our laws on the basis of the their generosity to the party in power, and everyo ther considerration is purely padding. The criticism of coverage on this issue is depressing; almost akin to the line that "every politician tells lies" - as if to do so is perfectly acceptable. At what point in time does "doing the right thing" come into the frame? No wonder discipline is hard to maintain in young children when their supposed betters lack accountability, responsibility and seemingly get away with everything.

  • 65.
  • At 07:52 PM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Alice Lilly wrote:

AMJ #62: try looking at www.downingstreetsays.org.uk and summaries of the Lobby briefings (given by the PMOS) for the past few days.
I think you'll find that journalists have been aking that question, and they were constantly told that "nothing's changed". Which it evidently had.

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