Press release

Press briefing: morning 16 January

The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Portsmouth, military capabilities and Scottish independence.

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



Asked about Michael Fallon taking ministerial responsibility for Portsmouth, the PMS said there were particular circumstances around Portsmouth regarding the transition from Royal Navy shipbuilding to ship maintenance. Mr Fallon would support jobs and growth in the city, working with local businesses, MPs and across government. The addition to his role would be alongside his current responsibilities.

Positive discrimination

Asked for the PM’s view on positive discrimination, the PMS said the PM did not support positive discrimination, but thought there should be greater black and minority ethnic representation at every level of all professions, including the most senior positions. There was more work to be done regarding this.


Asked about Lord Rennard, the PMS said that Liberal Democrat matters were not for him to discuss.

Personal space

Asked about respecting people’s personal space, the PMS said the PM thought it was right that people in every walk of life show the respect to others that everyone deserves.

Military capabilities

Asked about the PM’s views on UK military capabilities after Robert Gates’ comments, the PMS said the Ministry of Defence had already put out a statement on the matter.

Scottish independence

Asked for the PM’s view on a proposed 18 month transition period for Scottish independence, the PMS said it was a question for First Minister Alex Salmond.

Published 20 January 2014