London Olympics Bill

Charles Walker welcomes the Olympics - especially the canoeing to Broxbourne - but raises his concerns that the event could by hijacked by corporate hospitality and prevent local people from enjoying the events.

Mr. Walker: I would love to be nice to the Secretary of State because I am from Broxbourne and we are absolutely delighted to have got the canoeing. May I congratulate the Government and everybody who played a part in bringing the Olympics to London and just north of the M25 to Broxbourne, which is fairly near Scotland, but probably not near enough? May I make one plea, because it is very important that the Olympics are for everyone, and too often we see the corporate moguls move in? It is important that my constituents, the people from Waltham Cross and Cheshunt, which are not particularly rich areas, should have a chance to go to the canoeing in Broxbourne and take part in this great celebration.

Mrs. May: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention and I echo his comments. I think he will find that the elements of the Bill that outlaw ticket touting for the Olympics will go some way to ensuring that what he hopes will be the case for his constituents.

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Mr. Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): Are not hospitality packages another touting problem? A ticket with a face value of £50 can be sold on with a rather grotty lunch attached for £750. Is not that a form of touting for which we need to watch out?

Mr. Foster: There are many examples. Hon. Members know of people paying large sums for a towel and getting a free ticket to an event thrown in. I know that the Government have been considering ticket touting seriously, but I hope that the time will soon come when we debate ways in which to prevent not only ticket touting for the Olympic games but all other forms of touting.

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Mr. Walker: I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it would be nice if we took the Olympics across the country and perhaps had dedicated sports centres and training centres that would allow the whole country to join in the Olympic year. Is that the sort of thing he is considering?

For full debate as reported in Hansard, click here.

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