Asked about MPs claiming expenses for energy bills, the PMS said that MP expenses were a matter for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).
Terrorism prevention and investigation measures (TPIMs)
Asked about the effectiveness of TPIMs after Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed absconded, the PMS said that it was important to see if lessons could be learnt from specific incidents but the first priority was to find the individual in question.
Asked about the procurement of new Ministry of Defence (MOD) aircraft carriers, the PMS said that the MOD would be setting out the outcome of contract renegotiation soon, which was to address the concerns of the Public Accounts Committee and put the project on a sustainable basis. The government had separately put measures in place to improve the MOD procurement process.
Asked about the Prime Minister’s (PM) view on tax avoidance, the PMS said that the government, for the first time, had introduced a General Anti-Abuse Rule.
Veils in court
Asked whether the PM agreed that face veils should not be worn in court, the PMS said that the issue was about the jury being able to see someone’s face when giving evidence – the PM believed they should. Further, it was important that institutions were able to set and enforce their own dress codes.
Asked about relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan, the PMS said that it was important to continue working with Afghanistan and Pakistan to support regional stability. The government would also continue working with NATO allies to support a stable Afghanistan.