Press release

Press briefing: afternoon 31 October 2013

The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Royal Mail, illegal immigration, house prices, and the Al-Madinah school.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Brooks/Coulson trial

Asked about the trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, the PMS said he would not comment on the trial.

Royal Mail

Asked whether the Prime Minister (PM) was pleased that Royal Mail staff would not strike over the Christmas period, the PMS said the decision to avoid needless disruption should be welcomed.

Illegal immigration

Asked about the Home Office’s campaign to encourage illegal immigrants to leave the country, the PMS said the government was looking at a range of ways of tackling illegal immigration. The use of billboards on vans had been a pilot and the decision not to proceed with that campaign was based on its results.

House prices

Asked whether the PM was concerned that house prices were rising, the PMS said that across the country house prices were still 30% lower than they were before 2009, and mortgage approvals were 50% lower than at their peak. It was important to have a range of measures in place helping first time buyers onto the housing ladder, building 150,000 affordable homes and helping the construction sector.

Al-Madinah

Asked about the Al-Madinah school, the PMS said the PM’s view was unchanged. All schools of whatever type had to perform to the very best standards possible. If there were serious and consistent failings, funding could be stopped.

Published 1 November 2013