Press release

Press briefing: morning 31 October 2014

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

The Prime Minister's Deputy Spokesperson answered questions on the inquiry into historical child abuse, aid, Halloween and the EU budget.

Fiona Woolf

When asked about Fiona Woolf’s role leading the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse, the Prime Minister’s Deputy Spokesperson (PMDS) said the Prime Minister’s view had not changed, and that he was confident that Fiona Woolf could carry out the duties to the highest standards of impartiality and integrity. The PMDS added that what matters is that we were able to learn the lessons of the past, that no stone was left unturned and that is why we now had a panel that brought together a wealth of expertise and it was important that they got on with that job.

Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s report

When asked about the Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s report, the PMDS said that the Independent Commission was established by this government to make sure there was more transparency around how aid money was spent. She added that the government had a clear zero tolerance policy on corruption and where evidence was found, our policy was to suspend and investigate, the PMDS added.


When asked whether the Prime Minister agreed with concerns raised about some Halloween costumes, the PMDS said that respecting those who suffer from physical or mental illness was a view widely shared. As to what could and couldn’t be bought in stores, this was a matter driven by consumers and by retailers responding to that, the PMDS added.

EU Budget

When asked about Britain’s net contribution to the EU, the PMDS said the Prime Minister’s views on the EU budget are well known, and that he absolutely recognised the concerns that people had about how the EU budget was spent.