Questioned about the PM’s position on gay marriage, the PMS said that it was clearly an issue where people have well established views. The PM was a supporter of marriage and believed that gay people should not be excluded from marriage. The government was to set out proposals in the coming days, but the PM had made it previously clear that if churches, mosques or synagogues did not want to hold gay marriage ceremonies, they would not be forced to. Asked whether the government was going to bring forward tax breaks for married couples, and whether that would include civil partnerships, the PMS said that tax issues were a matter for the Chancellor.
Asked about the PM’s role in the Finucane Inquiry, the PMS said that the PM had met with the family and had taken a close interest. There would be a statement from the government later in the week.
Setting out the government’s position on GM foods, the PMS said that provided it is used safely and responsibly it could be a useful way to address food shortages. There was a scientific regulatory environment that should be respected across Europe, that the Commission was looking at ways to make regulation more efficient and effective, so that processes could be as quick as possible.