Govt refuses to foot Tory Olympics bill

Hugh Robertson
Hugh Robertson

Two senior Tories travelling to the Beijing Olympics have had their request for public funding denied by the government.

Jeremy Hunt, shadow culture secretary, and Hugh Robertson, shadow sports secretary, are travelling to China for five days to witness what is involved in running such a big event before it come to the UK.

But the government has refused them the £5,000 necessary for the trip, and they are now having to get the money from a Tory donor - which usually, but not always, means Michael Ashcroft.

"The London 2012 bid team paid for me to attend the International Olympic Committee meeting in Singapore which awarded the Games to London in order to demonstrate the cross-party support for the bid," explains Mr Robertson.

"So it's a shame that we've got to finance the trip to Beijing ourselves, since it's the only opportunity to see what is involved in running the Games on the ground before we are potentially having to run it ourselves.

"Given that there is cross-party support for the project, it's disappointing that the Government won't even pay for one of us to be there, especially since five ministers are being sent at public expense," he added.


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