Press release

Press briefing: morning 9 January 2015

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

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson answered questions about Hinchingbrooke, the A&E crisis and MI5.

Hinchingbrooke

When asked about the PM’s reaction to Circle pulling out of Hinchingbrooke hospital, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson (PMOS) said the PM was disappointed but the priority and focus now was that patient care was not affected while the Trust Development Authority (TDA) transferred the running of the trust.

A&E Crisis

When asked whether the PM thought there was a crisis in A&E, PMOS said that PM had acknowledged earlier in the week that more people were going to A&E and this was creating pressure on the system. The government is addressing this with the extra £700m funding for the NHS over the winter and in the longer term, measures are being considered for GP out-of-hours access and to bring in more nurses and doctors.

MI5

When asked whether the PM agreed with the MI5 Director-General that more powers are needed for agencies to access communications data, PMOS said that the PM’s view was that it was vital the government did all it could to support the police and agencies to tackle the increased threat from terrorism and to make sure they have the resources and powers that they need. PMOS pointed out that the government is already taking action, having introduced emergency legislation last year through the Data Protection and Investigatory Powers Act and had appointed a special envoy to look at what more can be done with US providers on data sharing. The government was also taking new legislation through the House, following the increase in the threat level earlier this year, to provide more powers to disrupt terrorist activities.