Press release

Press briefing: morning 25 March 2014

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

The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on President Xi, flight MH370, EU debate, teachers' strike and books in prison.

President Xi

Asked about the PM’s bilateral with Chinese President Xi, the PMS said it was an opportunity to talk about Ukraine, various economic issues and trade deals between the EU and China. It was also an opportunity for the PM to tell the Chinese President that his thoughts were with the families of those on flight MH370.

Asked whether President Xi had expressed sympathy with Russian action in Crimea, the PMS pointed out that Russia had stood completely isolated at the recent UN Security Council.

Missing plane

Asked whether the UK had offered practical support in the search for flight MH370, the PMS said Malaysian authorities were in the lead but the UK would look at any assistance requested.

EU debate

Asked about the upcoming debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, the PMS said he was not sure whether the PM would catch the debate but his views on Europe had been set out very clearly.

Teachers’ strike

Asked what the PM thought of the scheduled teachers’ strike, the PMS said the PM called on teachers to call off the strike. It was disruptive to children’s education and their families. Providing flexibility on employee childcare arrangements was a matter for employers.

Books in prison

Asked whether the PM supported the Justice Secretary’s stance on prisoner access to books, the PMS said the Justice Secretary had the right approach. Prisoners would still have access to books in their cells.