Press briefing: morning 6 November 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on shipyards, Mark Pritchard MP, and tax.
Asked about ship building locations in the UK, the PMS said that difficult decisions over jobs had been taken in the national interest. The government had been in discussion with BAE Systems and other interested parties. Portsmouth shipyard would still see 11,000 employed and 2,000 directly supporting the naval fleet. It was important that the Royal Navy had the best equipped ships and so world class ship building would continue on the Clyde. The Defence Secretary would make a statement on the matter later in the day.
Asked whether the Scottish referendum was a factor in the decision, the PMS said that the government believed in the UK staying united and would continue to make the case for the union.
Asked about the business affairs of Mark Pritchard MP, the PMS said the issue had been referred to the Parliamentary Commission on Standards. Parliament had rules and procedures around the role of All Party Parliamentary Groups.
Asked whether the Prime Minister (PM) thought tax avoidance was morally wrong, the PMS said the PM thought tax avoidance did raise ethical issues. The government had introduced the General Anti-Abuse Rule and increased HM Revenue and Customs resources to investigate avoidance schemes.