Press briefing: afternoon 17 April 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Deputy Prime Minister's Spokesperson (DPMS) answered questions on Lady Thatcher's funeral and labour market statistics.
Questioned on Lady Thatcher’s funeral, the DPMS said that the Prime Minister had expressed his view earlier in the day about the role that Lady Thatcher had played and the legacy that she left behind. Asked when the government would publish the cost of the funeral, the DPMS said that details would be published in due course.
Asked whether the Prime Minister was relieved there had been no disruption at the funeral, the DPMS said the Prime Minister had made it clear that people had the right to disagree but ultimately we had been mourning the passing of the first woman Prime Minister, who had won three consecutive general elections, and that this had been the right way to mark the occasion.
Questioned on how the Prime Minister thought Lady Thatcher should be commemorated, the DPMS said the issue of memorials was a matter for private individuals and organisations.
Asked about the latest labour market statistics, the DPMS said that the figures underlined the fact that these were tough economic times and that of course any increase in unemployment was worrying.
But he pointed out that unemployment was still around 71,000 lower than it was at this time last year and that there had been an 850,000 rise in employment since 2010. He added that the numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, the main unemployment benefit, had also fallen again.