Rwandan Aid, Special Advisers and the Communications Data Bill were discussed at this press briefing.
Questioned about the Government’s aid payments to Rwanda, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Government had considered new evidence on the use of aid money in Rwanda and had stopped the next tranche of aid. The Government had concerns about the Rwandan Government support for the M23 rebel group, and it was important that difficult decisions on aid were kept under review. The decision had been made by the Department for International Development.
Asked about the Government policy on special adviser appointments, the PMS said that in a coalition Government it was necessary to have more special advisers in certain departments to maintain the effective working of Government. Information on the number of special advisers and the overall wage bill was published regularly.
Communications Data Bill
Setting out the Government position on the Communications Data Bill, the PMS said that a draft bill had been published and the Government intended to publish a bill after parliamentary committee scrutiny. It was still the PM’s intention to give the police and security services the powers proposed.
Questioned on the Leveson report, the PMS said that the party leaders had met to discuss issues and work was underway. It was important that the press set up the regulatory body as quickly as possible, but the Culture Secretary would be pressing ahead with draft legislation over the coming weeks. The PM had particular concerns over the use of legislation and believed it would be more complicated than some envisaged and could be amended over time by Parliament