Briefing by the Prime Minister’s spokesman on: Cumbria
Asked whether he would be prepared to say there was no appetite for changing gun laws considering what the Home Secretary had said in the House and the Prime Minster said at the press conference earlier today, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) replied that the Home Secretary had said that where there were lessons to be learned we would learn them, and where there were changes to be made we would make them. The Prime Minister had warned against a kneejerk reaction to this and had advised people to allow the police investigation to take its course.
Asked whether people should draw from the fact that the Prime Minister had said we already had strong gun laws in place that there would be no changes, the PMS said that the rules at present were tough. The Prime Minister had also made the point that it was not clear that moving directly to new regulations or new legislation was the correct response. We should wait and see what happens during the investigation and if there were lessons to be learnt, we would learn them.
Asked who the Prime Minister would be meeting tomorrow during his visit to Cumbria, the PMS said the details of the visit would be confirmed later.
Asked if it was fair to say that the Prime Minister thought we should not introduce legislation for a one off case like this, the PMS referred back to the Prime Minister’s words at the press conference earlier; it was not possible to legislate against a switch flicking in someone’s head.
Asked whether there had been any requests from the local council or police in the area for extra resources to be made available, the PMS said there had been a conversation last night between the Prime Minister and the Chief Constable in the area who had said that he had the resources he needed and that he had also received a number of offers from neighbouring police forces.
Asked whether there was anything more the Home Office could offer in terms of expertise, the PMS advised people to speak to the Home Office.
Asked whether there was any more information on whether Mr Bird had made his conviction clear when applying for a gun licence, the PMS said there was an ongoing police investigation and the police would make any statements.
Put that the Home Secretary had said in her statement that Mr Bird had had the right gun licence whereas the Prime Minister had stated that the police were still looking at this, the PMS said the police would be making statements on the investigation and people should wait for those.