Press release

Press briefing: morning 15 July 2013

The Prime Minister's Spokesperson answered questions on, among other topics, the Cabinet, Samantha Cameron, the Keogh report and Twitter.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



Asked why Cabinet is being held in Chequers, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) replied that it was an opportunity for Cabinet colleagues to meet away from Downing Street.


Asked if the Prime Minister (PM) would raise human rights with the Burmese president, the PMS said nothing would be off the table in the discussions, including human rights.

Asked what would be discussed with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the PMS said it would focus on regional economic issues.

Samantha Cameron

Asked if Mrs Cameron influences the PM’s view on Syria, the PMS said that policy is developed through the National Security Council.

Keogh report

Asked if the PM was concerned about the forthcoming Keogh report on hospital mortality, the PMS said we must wait until tomorrow for the full findings of the report, but clearly there had been examples of patients not receiving the high quality and compassionate care they deserve. The PM would be deeply concerned about any evidence of failures in the NHS, which is why a chief inspector of hospitals had been appointed and an overhaul of the CQC had been undertaken.

Asked is the hospitals named in the reviews were safe to use, the PMS said where evidence is found a hospital failing, we would take all necessary action.

Asked if hospital departments would be closed or directors would be sacked, the PMS reminded Lobby that we were still awaiting the outcome of the review, but we believe in strong culture of accountability in our NHS.


Asked if the PM writes his own tweets, the PMS said that the tweets were always the views of the PM.

Benefit cap

Asked if the PM thought there was evidence the benefit cap is working, the PMS replied that there was evidence of people moving into work after being told about the cap, and pointed Lobby towards the full statistics held by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Asked what the PM thinks of the ONS criticising the conclusion that the cap is working, the PMS replied the PM believed that these reforms provide a clear incentive by making sure work pays.

Asked if the PM shares the Work and Pensions Secretary’s view that the BBC is biased in its reporting of this issue, the PMS replied that the PM would continue to be making a strong case for the reforms across all media outlets.


Asked what the PM thinks of halving the nuclear submarine deterrent, the PMS replied that the PM believes in a continuous at-sea deterrent.

Asked why the PM was postponing the decision until after 2015, the PMS said we were in the early stages of a complex procurement process, details of which could be provided by the Ministry of Defence.

Lynton Crosby

Asked if the PM would welcome the publication of Lynton Crosby’s lobbying interests, the PMS replied that this government is committed to transparency in third party interests on politics which is why this week we are publishing the lobbying bill with a statutory register of lobbyists.

Asked if Lynton Crosby had disclosed who his other clients were, the PMS said details of Lynton Crosby’s employment were a matter for the Conservative party.

Asked if the PM had discussed tobacco, alcohol or fracking with Lynton Crosby, the PMS re-emphasised that the PM never been lobbied by Lynton Crosby on any issue.

Published 16 July 2013