Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 1 July 2010

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

Briefing by the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: "Your Freedom" website, Lord Browne and misc

“Your Freedom” Website

Asked whether the Prime Minister had views either on the restitution of the death penalty or whether people should be able to marry horses, as contributors had suggested on the new website, the PMS replied that he thought that the process should continue and we would be responding to it in due course.

Asked if he would rule out either of those two suggestions, the PMS said that he wouldn’t want to make any precipitous comments on issues raised by the public.

The PMS said he would not comment on this on a daily basis; there should be a proper process and the Government would respond after that was completed.

Put that there would be duplications of these suggestions on the No10 epetitions site, the PMS said that the point of this was the Government engaging with the public and using the internet was an efficient way of doing that.

On how the Government would decide which views to listen to, the PMS said that we would want to look at the weight of public opinion, but also the merits of the individual proposals.

Lord Browne

Asked if the Prime Minister had expressed any views on the appointment of Lord Browne, the PMS said that it was a Government appointment so clearly the Prime Minister it. Asked if this was another example of giving someone a second chance, the PMS replied that the reason Lord Browne had been appointed to this role was that he had the background and skills to make a difference.

Tackling the deficit would require the Government to look very hard at the way it ran departments and having some external expertise to help us drive that forward would be valuable.

On whether Lord Browne was still heading up the review of university funding, the PMS said he would still carry out that review. Lord Browne would sit on the Cabinet Office board and would be part of the group looking at efficiency across Government. The full time position announced today was the position being taken by Ian Watmore.


Asked whether the Prime Minister thought that Lynne Featherstone should have joined a Facebook group called “Lib Dems against the Coalition”, the PMS said that he had seen the reports and it had been denied that she had joined the group.

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about reports from the MOD suggesting that Iranian IEDs were now being used against British forces in Afghanistan, the PMS advised people to speak to the MOD on the matter.

Asked whether the Prime Minister thought it was a good idea to raise the Saltire above Downing Street for Andy Murray, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that there were no plans to do that at the present time.