The Prime Minister's Spokesperson answered questions on Wimbledon, education, deportation laws, and Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall.
Wimbledon and Andy Murray
Asked whether the Prime Minister thought it was statesman like of Alex Salmond to wave the Saltire behind him, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) advised that these are questions for Alex Salmond. He also advised that the PM had asked for the Saltire to fly from Downing Street.
Asked why the PM would fly the Scottish flag and celebrate Andy Murray as a Scot rather than a Brit, the PMS said that flying the flag was one of the ways the PM could express his support. He added that being a Scot and a Brit goes hand-in-hand and the government’s view is that this should continue.
Questioned in detail about when and how often the flag has flown before, the PMS explained that he did not have this history to hand and suggested this was explored separately.
Asked whether the PM would prefer to be the PM or to win Wimbledon, the PMS said that what the PM has done is join in with many up and down the country and congratulated Andy Murray on a terrific achievement. He confirmed that the PM had expressed his congratulations very clearly and he was not aware of further plans for contact at this stage.
Asked about who accompanied the PM to Wimbledon, the PMS said that the PM was accompanied by his mother.
Asked whether Andy Murray should receive an honour, the PMS explained that honours are matter for independent committee. He said that the PM’s view was that the PM could not think of anyone who deserves one more.
Asked whether the PM thinks the government’s curriculum reforms can be achieved in the timeline that has been set out, the PMS confirmed that the PM has every confidence that these can be implemented to the timetable. The PM agrees with the Education Secretary that we have best generation of teachers and they will be able to deliver it. The government wants to make sure children are receiving the best education as early as possible.
Questioned on the fact that the new curriculum may not apply to free schools or academies, the PMS explained that this is same as the current curriculum.
Questioned on the coalition’s intentions for reforming deportation laws the PMS said that the position is as it was set out in the coalition agreement and this has not changed. There was a commission that looked issues surrounding this. The PMS pointed to the PM’s words over the weekend when the PM said that he was looking to the next Conservative party manifesto.
Pushed on whether change is needed following Qatada’s deportation, the PMS said that what we need to get on with is streamlining the process so we can get on with deporting those people we want to deport and taking the measures needed to deal with the legal cat and mouse game that exists at the moment. Both the PM and the Home Secretary have said we will use the immigration bill with regard to this.
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall
The PMS said the PM will send his very best wishes to the happy couple.