Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 13 December 2010

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Terry Jones, Olympic security and student protests.

Terry Jones

Asked whether the Prime Minister believed in freedom of speech, even if the views being expressed were considered unacceptable by most people, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister believed in freedom of speech and that there were a set of laws regarding inciting hatred that must be adhered to. The PMS said that the Terry Jones case would be considered by the Home Secretary.

Olympic Security

Asked whether the Prime Minister believed it was right to cut the Olympic security budget by 20 per cent, the PMS said that Olympic security funding had been protected and that the Government believed it was possible to deliver security for the Olympics for around £475m, but that the £600m that was originally budgeted would remain available if necessary.

Asked whether the previous Government had overestimated the security budget, the PMS said that the Government believed it was possible to deliver security for the Olympics more cheaply, but that the £600m was available if needed.

Asked for more detail on which parts of the budget could be safely cut, the PMS said that such questions should be directed to the Home Office.

Student Protests

Asked whether the Prime Minister had spoken to the Metropolitan Police commissioner in the aftermath of the student protests and whether he thought water cannons should be deployed, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had spoken to the commissioner and the Home Secretary on several occasions, and that operational decisions were rightly taken by the police.

Asked whether Sir Paul Stephenson had offered to resign, the PMS said that the commissioner did not offer his resignation and that the Prime Minister was clear that the fault lay with the people who were intent on causing trouble.