Asked if it was possible that shipbuilding could come back to Portsmouth as a result of Scotland voting for independence, the PMS said that the government is confident in the case that the United Kingdom is stronger united as it is. The decisions that had been reached today were set out by the Secretary of State for Defence in the House earlier.
Asked what the justification was for paying redundancies of a private firm, the PMS said this decision had to be seen in several ways. It was a decision that affects a number of sites - shipbuilding in the Clyde and ship maintenance at Portsmouth, which will continue to employ around 11,000 people. It also needed to be seen in the context of the long standing shipbuilding relationship with BAE Systems. Commercial decisions were a matter for the Ministry of Defence.
Asked what the Prime Minister (PM) was referring to at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) when he said he would look to take action against industrial intimidation in the context of Unite, the PMS said government would consider whether action might be required.
Asked if there was any more detail from when the PM was asked at PMQs about a Conservative councillor accused of murder in Pakistan, the PMS said there was nothing further to add to what the PM said earlier.
Independent Living Fund
Asked if there was any reaction to the loss of the case on the Independent Living Fund in the Court of Appeal, the PMS said that obviously the government was disappointed by the judgement. The Department for Work and Pensions would be considering the judgement.