Asked about Judith Tebbutt’s release, the PMS said that the government could confirm she had been released and that it was important she was taken to a place of safety.
Asked for the date of last COBR meeting which discussed her case, the PMS said there had been a number of meetings over the period she had been in captivity.
Asked whether the government was aware of the ransom paid, the PMS said that the family were expected to make a statement once Judith Tebbutt was safely in Nairobi. The government has been providing support to the family throughout.
Asked for the government position on ransoms, and whether the government had advised the Tebbutt family not to pay a ransom, the PMS said that the government did not pay ransoms and did not facilitate concessions to hostage takers. However, the government had been in close contact with the family and provided support throughout her captivity.
Foreign Secretary in Rome
Asked whether the Foreign Secretary was going to Rome explain the recent hostage situation, the PMS said that the Foreign Office would be best placed to provide detail on agenda items for the Foreign Secretary’s visit.
Asked whether the PM was surprised by the borrowing figures announced that morning, the PMS said that there would be an updated forecast published very shortly. The figures showed that we were making progress on cutting the deficit this year.