Press release

Press briefing: morning 20 October 2014

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

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson answered questions on the EU, the Medical Innovation Bill, child poverty, the Muslim Brotherhood, public interest defence, social media and the Recall Bill.

European Union

When asked about European Commission President Barosso’s comments on the EU, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson (PMOS) said the Prime Minister’s position was clear, adding that a number of countries around the EU were looking at the impact of immigration on their welfare systems. The importance of reform in this area wasn’t just one which was held in the UK, the PMOS added.

When asked about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the PMOS said it was important that an agreement was reached, adding that the TTIP was an example of a British priority being taken forward in the EU.

Medical Innovation Bill

When asked about the Medical Innovation Bill, the PMOS said on the basis of a number of amendments to the Bill, the government was minded to support the Private Members Bill as it proceeds through Parliament.

Child poverty

When asked about the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s report, the PMOS said there was always more work to be done on the issue, noting that child poverty was at its lowest level for 30 years. The PMOS added that through greater employment opportunities in households where children grow up, the UK could address this issue which was why welfare reform and reforms to reduce income tax bills, to name a few, were so important.

Muslim Brotherhood

When asked about the government review into the Muslim Brotherhood, the PMOS said that the main findings of the report were expected to be published during the autumn.

Public interest defence

When asked about a public interest defence in law for journalism, the PMOS said the Prime Minister attached a great deal of importance to the UK’s strong and robust investigative journalism. With regard to recent high-profile cases, the PMOS said it was right that the Home Secretary was bringing forward a new revised code of practice for the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s review to see if more could be done in the same area.

Social media

With regard to meetings between government officials and social media companies, the PMOS said there was very regular dialogue between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and a large range of media companies.

Recall Bill

When asked about the Recall Bill, the PMOS said the Prime Minister wanted to hear what members of the House of Commons had to say, and what ideas they might have on the issue.