Press briefing: afternoon 9 May 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister's Spokesperson answered questions on Europe, Heathrow, data, statistics, childcare, Lynton Crosby, Nadine Dorries and GIC13.
Asked about the amendment tabled today by some Conservative MPs on an EU referendum, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMS) said that the amendment had only just been tabled, and that the Prime Minister would want to consider it carefully. He said that the Prime Minister was happy to look at all ways available to strengthen his commitment to an in/out referendum in the next Parliament. The Prime Minister was relaxed about the amendment being tabled and welcomed the focus on his commitment to strengthen Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
Asked what the Prime Minister’s view was on building a 4th runway at Heathrow, the PMS said that the Prime Minister believed that the right thing to do was to await the results of the Davies review into airport capacity.
Asked what the government’s current position was on data communications, the PMS said that the government continued to look in to how to keep up with technological changes, this process is ongoing, and the government would bring forward proposals on this as soon as possible.
Asked whether the Prime Minister was disappointed that one of his Cabinet Ministers (Iain Duncan Smith), had been criticised by the Office of National Statistics for his use of statistics, the PMS said that he would let the Department of Work and Pensions set out their response to this.
Asked about whether childcare was discussed at today’s Quad meeting, the PMS said that the Quad discussed all major issues on a regular basis. Asked for the Prime Minister’s view on comments made today by the Deputy Prime Minister, the PMS said that the Prime Minister understood that childcare was a very important issue to many families up and down the country. He said that the UK has some of the most expensive childcare in Europe and that this was an issue of importance to many families, which is why the government had done so much work on the issue.
The government has consulted on the issue and has received a number of responses, which would be considered before government sets out its approach. Asked whether the Prime Minister supported the views of Liz Truss, the PMS said that the Prime Minister shared Liz Truss’s views about the cost of childcare and about the importance of increasing access to higher quality childcare, and that as the minister had said, the government would be bringing forward further measures on this.
Asked whether Lynton Crosby had access to Downing Street, the PMS said that he does not have a Downing Street pass, but that he provided advice to the Conservative Party, so it was not surprising that he would be meeting with senior members of the Conservative Party.
Asked whether the Prime Minister would be meeting Nadine Dorries this afternoon, the PMS said he was not aware of any engagements.
Global Investment Conference
Asked whether the Prime Minister met anyone in particular at the Global Investment Conference (GIC13), the PMS said that the Prime Minister was keen to meet with people investing in the UK but that the meetings he had this morning were private meetings. Asked whether the Prime Minister was disappointed that no new investments were announced at the conference today, the PMS said that on the contrary, UKTI had announced increases year-on-year in foreign direct investment to the UK this morning, including an increase in the number of jobs, all of which pointed to the UK’s ability to lead in the global race.