Asked about the PM’s position on equal marriage, the PMS said that the PM thought the Equal Marriage Bill was about extending marriage to same sex couples. Complex issues had been raised with regard to civil partnerships and the government had proposals to review the situation. Asked about the amendment to extend civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, and its impact on the bill, the PMS said that there was a free vote on the whole issue and he would not speculate on the outcome of the vote. The government had a legislative programme and was progressing with it.
Asked about the PM’s relationship with Lord Feldman, the PMS said that the position had been made clear over the weekend. A statement had been issued by Downing Street and another by Lord Feldman. The PM stood by Lord Feldman’s statement and his position had not changed.
Asked whether the PM was meeting Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, the PMS said that Eric Schmidt was a member of the Business Advisory Group which was meeting that day. The PM would discuss the G8 tax and transparency agenda with them and the work Britain was doing to reform the global tax rules. People could already see Britain working with Germany, France, Italy and Spain on the exchange of tax information. The PM was clear that all companies must pay the taxes that are due, but the government would not comment on the tax arrangements of individuals or companies.