Press briefing: morning 21 January
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Syria, TPIMs, and the Welsh economy.
The PMS gave a read-out of Cabinet that morning.
Asked if there was any comment on the expected growth report from the IMF, the PMS said that the update would not be published until later in the day.
Asked what would be the government’s implementation priorities for the next year, the PMS said that the government would focus on delivering the long term economic plan. Infrastructure projects, for example the new reactor at Hinkley Point power plant, and health and social care integration as the care bill passes through the House were examples of the sort of issue the government would prioritise this year.
Asked whether the government was considering accepting Syrian refugees in the UK, the PMS noted that this had been discussed in a debate in the House yesterday.
Asked whether the government was concerned that a number of TPIMs were about to expire, the PMS said that as the PM and Home Secretary had already made clear, the police and intelligence agencies have robust plans in place to monitor risk and keep the public safe.
Asked whether all of the government was happy with the TPIM regime, the PMS said that the government had dealt with the situation where the control order regime had been partly dismantled by the courts and TPIMs were introduced alongside additional resources for the intelligence services. The PMS said that across government there are robust plans in place to protect the public and there is a structure in place in which TPIMs are time limited, although they can be extended if new information becomes available.
Asked for a summary of the Secretary of State for Wales’ presentation to Cabinet, the PMS began by noting that the NATO summit will be taking place in Newport later this year. Wales will see the benefit of the increase in personal tax allowance and the changes introduced to National Insurance contributions as well as the electrification of the railway to Swansea and plans to improve the M4.
Asked whether the government had any comment on the European Parliament’s criticism of the Maltese Government for selling EU passports, and whether the government would consider the same, the PMS said that the Foreign Office would be able to advise on discussions had on that issue.
Asked about the status of Anglo-French relations after recent comments and the potential atmosphere at the forthcoming bilateral summit, the PMS said that the PM was looking forward to a constructive summit.
Asked whether the PM was happy with the state of the Lobbying bill as it continued its passage through the House, the PMS said that the government had brought forward proposals which reflect and respond to points raised in the debate and ensure the objectives of the bill are fully seen through.