Put that some of the alleged perpetrators of the violence yesterday have been bailed until next February and asked how this fits in with the Prime Minister’s call for them to face the full force of the law, the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister would not want to comment on what is clearly a police matter.
Asked whether the Prime Minister is happy with the way the police have handled this, the PMS referred to comments that the Prime Minister had made earlier in the day on this matter, adding that the Prime Minister had praised the police who were dealing with the incident yesterday and that there was an inquiry ongoing into the level of policing.
Asked whether, against the backdrop of Government cuts, yesterday’s student protests were seen as an isolated incident or as the beginning of wider protests across the UK, similar to those in France, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister fully supports the right to protest in a peaceful fashion. The PMS added that the Government does not condone violent acts or intimidation.
Put that Ministers’ security had been stepped up following the riots or to pre-empt the programme on cuts, the PMS said that she would not comment on security matters, however security is always kept under review.
Asked, in terms of the benefit changes, how increasing sanctions squares with big government cuts to services like job-centres, the PMS said that the wider issue of welfare reforms had been discussed at length. PMS added that welfare reforms fitted in with what DWP are trying to achieve not just in terms of saving money but also in terms of ensuring that we have a welfare system that is fair and ensuring that we are making work pay.