Press briefing: morning 1 April 2014
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Ukraine, education, Royal Mail, premium rate lines, Muslim Brotherhood and onshore wind.
Asked about the government’s approach to the situation in Ukraine, the PMS said the government was very clear that further measures would be imposed on Russia if the situation was destabilised. There was continued coordination between international partners across the G7 and EU.
Regarding the impact on international energy prices, the PM had been clear about long term consequences of reshaping Britain’s energy relationship with Russia.
Asked about Cabinet discussions on schools, the PMS said the Cabinet discussed the way GCSE and other test results would be communicated and explained.
Asked about the sale of Royal Mail, the PMS said the PM agreed with the Business Secretary on why the sale was a success. The taxpayer had benefitted from the receipts of the privatisation, but also had the security of a profitable service with the strength to compete in the long term. The taxpayer had neither of those things before privatisation.
Premium rate lines
Asked about premium rate phone lines used by government agencies, the PMS said less than 10% of lines were premium rate, but the PM expected those remaining to be phased out as quickly as possible.
Muslim Brotherhood review
Asked about a review into the Muslim Brotherhood commissioned by the PM, the PMS said it was an opportunity to get a better understanding of the organisation through its philosophy, approach and influence, and what that means for Britain.
Asked about the government’s policy on onshore wind, the PMS said the government wanted communities to have a greater say in the planning process. Onshore wind played a role in the wider renewable energy agenda, which the government wanted to promote to diversify Britain’s energy supply.