Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 15 February 2011
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Prime Minister's meeting with Russian Foreign Secretary Lavrov, AV Bill, MoD email sackings, Inflation and Larry the cat
Prime Minister’s meeting with Russian Foreign Secretary Lavrov
Asked if there was a date confirmed for the Prime Minister to visit Moscow, the Prime Minister’s spokesman (PMS) said a fixed date had not yet been agreed but the visit was likely to take place in the second half of the year. Asked if the Prime Minister had discussed the extradition of Andrei Lugovoy with Minister Lavrov, the PMS replied that the subject had come up in the meeting and our Foreign Secretary’s position remained the same, that we considered it a barrier to greater co-operation on security between the two countries.
Asked if the Government was confident the Bill would reach the statute book by Thursday, the PMS said that the Bill was in the House of Commons today and should return to the Lords tomorrow. He added that it was still the Government’s intention that the Bill would get Royal Assent this week. Asked why the position on the Isle of Wight amendment had changed, the PMS replied that Government had listened to what the House of Lords had to say and was now willing to accept the amendment.
Asked why during a General Election campaign all parties have to set out from whom they have received donations, whereas campaign donations are not disclosed until six months after a referendum, the PMS said that existing rules were being applied to the AV referendum.
MoD email sackings
Asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to the Defence Secretary about the email sackings, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had made his views very clear in that he thought the way the issue had been handled was completely unacceptable. The PMS added that the Defence Secretary had made the same point in the House.
Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the increase in inflation, the PMS said that there had been a discussion at Cabinet on the general economic situation where the Chief Secretary had set out the figures and explained the context as set out in the Bank of England’s letter. He added that the Prime Minister had made the point that there was a lot of difficult work to do in rebalancing the economy and dealing with the deficit, which would take some time.
Larry the Cat
Asked where Larry would live within Downing Street, the PMS said that he would have freedom to roam throughout the building. On the subject of who would pay the cat’s food and vet’s bills, the PMS confirmed that Downing Street staff would provide for Larry’s care at no expense to the taxpayer. On whether Larry belonged to the Cameron family or staff, the PMS advised that he belonged to Downing Street. Asked if members of staff had been interviewed by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home prior to Larry’s arrival, the PMS replied that staff had visited the centre to discuss his re-homing.
Published: 15 February 2011