Questioned about the PM’s stance towards Europe and his upcoming speech, the PMS said that the speech had not been discussed at Cabinet. The DPM would be shown the speech before Friday. The PM believed that it was important to take the lead in the debate on Europe that was already underway.
Asked why the Environment Secretary had given a presentation about growth at Cabinet, the PMS said that each department had an important contribution to make to the growth agenda. The Environment Secretary gave a presentation on how his department was actively doing so.
Setting out the approach to the vote on Boundaries, the PMS said that the PM and DPM had agreed to set aside collective responsibility on this specific issue. The agreement had been made following consultation with the Cabinet Secretary and in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Questioned on the UK’s role in the intervention in Mali, the PMS said that it was logistical and not a combat role. On the issue of the EU training mission to Mali, it was under discussion by EU Foreign Ministers. Parliament’s EU Scrutiny Committee would consider the issue in the usual way. The C-17 planes offered in support were manned by RAF crews. The PMS said that UK security arrangements were continually under review.
Asked whether the PM believed the cuts to police pay were reasonable, the PMS said that the PM fully supported the Home Secretary’s decision.
Setting out the PM’s stance on the ECHR ruling on Christians wearing crosses at work, the PMS said that the PM was delighted the principle had been upheld. It was the Government’s view that the law struck the right balance between the rights of employees and employers as it currently stands.