Press briefing - afternoon 5 February 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister's Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Vice President Biden's visit, equal marriage and the report into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.
Questioned about the Prime Minister’s (PM) meeting with Vice President Biden, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that they had not had discussed Britain’s membership of the EU. Asked whether the shared ambition to start formal negotiations on Free Trade was a new commitment, the PMS said the PM had made his views clear in his Davos speech.
Asked why the PM had not appeared at the debate, the PMS said he had chaired Cabinet in the morning, hosted Vice President Biden and was preparing for the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust statement in the afternoon.
Asked why the PM was making the statement about the inquiry on the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, the PMS said the PM’s deep commitment to the NHS was no secret, and after the first Francis report showed unacceptable failings in care, it was the PM’s strong view that there should be a public inquiry. At the heart of the PM’s agenda is promoting a culture of care in the NHS.
Questioned about the EU Budget, the PMS said he was not aware that a new set of proposals had yet been tabled. Asked whether the PM considered the current proposals to be a real terms cut, the PMS said the UK shared the view of like-minded allies that spending needs to be reduced further.
Questioned about the Argentinean Foreign Minister’s comments about Falklands, the PMS said he was not aware of those comments, and the UK position on sovereignty remained unchanged: it was for the Falkland Islanders to decide.