Press briefing: morning 26 March 2014
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Ukraine, Europe debate, books for prisoners, energy, strikes and Tanzania.
The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) informed the assembled press that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary would meet a delegation of Ukrainian MPs, including Vitali Klitschko, later in the day. They were expected to discuss the latest developments in light of the upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections.
Asked why the Prime Minister had declined to join the evening’s debate between the Deputy Prime Minister and Nigel Farage on the European Union, the PMS said that the PM had made his position clear on the subject and would keep explaining why that was the right approach.
Books for prisoners
Asked about the ban on prisoners being sent books, the PMS said that the PM supported the Secretary of State for Justice’s decision taken as part of wider reforms of prisoner incentives and earned privileges. He said there was a statutory requirement for library services to be provided in prisons, that prisoners could have up to 12 books in their cells and that prisoners had the opportunity to purchase books through the library. It was not about curtailing their access to books.
In reference to energy company SSE’s decision to freeze energy prices, the PMS said that the PM welcomed any move which helped consumers with their bills. He noted that SSE’s statement acknowledged the freeze had been triggered by the government’s reforms to green levies and charges, which had cut the pressure on household bills by an average of £50. He said that this announcement was because of those decisions.
He also said that it was important to diversify energy sources and pointed to new investment into the offshore wind industry announced the previous day, as well as the billions invested in the energy sector since 2010.
Asked whether the school strikes would affect the PM’s children, the PMS declined to comment.
Asked whether the President of Tanzania would be in the UK shortly, the PMS said that the PM was expected to meet the President of Tanzania the following week.