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No. 10 Afternoon Press Briefing: 1 May 2008

Afternoon Press Briefing From 1 May 2008

Briefing from the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: General Petraeus, Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) Investment conference, football, cannabis and misc.

General Petraeus Meeting

Asked for information on the Prime Minister's meeting with General Petraeus, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) said that there was not a lot to add to what was said at the morning press briefing; General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker were passing through London and as they normally would, they called in to see the Prime Minister. It was a catch-up meeting more than anything else and there were some words from General Petraeus who had given an interview to the BBC.

Put that General Petraeus had said in his BBC interview that one of the things discussed at the meeting was troop numbers in Basra and that it was too early to say whether they would change, the PMS said that that was a fair summary of the position.

Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) Investment Conference

Asked if Tony Blair would be at the MEPP investment conference this afternoon, the PMS said that he would. The Prime Minister was speaking and attendees included Douglas Alexander, the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Tony Blair. The Prime Minister would be there for Tony Blair's speech.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be having any one-to-one time with Tony Blair, the PMS said that he was not sure whether they would have much time at the conference today but that they did speak on a regular basis, as you would expect.

Football

Asked if the Prime Minister would be attending the Champions League final in Moscow, the PMS said that he didn't have anything further to add to what he had said yesterday, which was that it was still quite early and that we were assessing if it would be possible.

Put that flights were getting booked up, the PMS said that he was sure we would be able to find a way of getting to the final if it came to that.

Asked if the Prime Minister, as a good friend of Alex Ferguson's, would be supporting Manchester United, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister would be neutral.

Cannabis

Asked what the Prime Minister thought of the Conservative's attack on the Government's drug policy in light of the views of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the PMS said that he would not respond specifically to the comments from the Conservative spokesman. As ACPO had said in their statement, should the decision be taken to reclassify cannabis to class B, they would expect to see increased robust enforcement activity. As such the PMS was not sure that the Guardian story this morning necessarily stood up in light of ACPO's response. ACPO, in their evidence to the advisory committee, recommended restoring cannabis to class B. They both called for it and said today that they would step up their enforcement.

Asked if there would be an increase in enforcement activity in Scotland, the PMS said that we expected the police to take whatever action they felt necessary in light of any change that may or may not be made to the classification of cannabis.

Misc

Asked if the Prime Minister had any views on the decision of Peter Phillip's wife to join the Church of England, the PMS said that that was entirely a personal matter for them.

ENDS

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