Press briefing: morning 18 May 2015
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson answered questions about Iraq, Speaker of the House, NHS, Trident, migrants and Eastern partnership.
When asked about the government’s support for the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIL – particularly in light of the reported fall of Ramadi – the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson (PMOS) said it pointed to some of the challenges the Iraqi government faced. In respect of the UK government’s role, the PMOS said it had the right approach in continuing to provide support through Tornado sorties, UAVs that carry out airstrikes and intelligence gathering, and the provision of military training with particular regard for IEDs.
Speaker of the House
When asked about the potential re-election of the Speaker of the House of Commons, the PMOS said it was a matter for the House.
When asked about the NHS and the Prime Minister’s speech on seven-day-services, the PMOS said the proposals were part of a wider need for reform and change in the way the NHS operates, in for example the piloting of seven day GP access. Simon Stevens had already set out a programme for changing the way the NHS delivers its services through his Five Year Forward View, a programme the government was committed to meeting, the PMOS added.
When asked about concerns over the security of Trident sites, the PMOS said - as with all military equipment - that Trident only operated where the right safety standards were in place.
When asked about reports that Britain would assist in the establishment of a military operation against people smugglers in Libya, the PMOS said the government was working with others on how the appropriate intelligence resources could be put in place.
When asked about jobs in government departments, the PMOS said the government would continue to take difficult decisions to make sure savings were in place, whilst noting that savings could also be found through better procurement, and more efficient back office functions.
Eastern Partnership Summit
When asked about the focus of the forthcoming Eastern Partnership in Riga, the PMOS said the summit would principally focus on how the EU worked with neighbouring countries in terms of fighting corruption, reform of judicial systems, improving transparency, and the like.
Published: 18 May 2015