Home > United Kingdom
 
UK Ministers furious after being ordered to use public transport to get to Olympics
From: Daily Mirror.co.uk          Published On: August 20, 2012, 14:27 GMT
 
  Comments ()     Email     Print  

     
 




UK Ministers furious after being ordered to use public transport to get to Olympics

Firm: David Cameron has banned all ministers from their chauffeur-driven cars

David Cameron has risked another fallout with his own MPs after decreeing they must travel to Olympics events by public transport and not in their chauffeur driven cars.

Downing Street has banned ministers from using the controversial Games lanes set aside for VIPs to get to the Olympic Stadium.

But furious MPs have said they would rather watch the Games on TV than cram onto the underground or buses, which would leave them too grumpy to schmooze their guests.

David Cameron insists he will be catching the Tube during London 2012.
He has also told every minister they must not take their family to events, even if they paid for the tickets themselves.

They must invite dignitaries and other important guests instead, to ensure the public don't think they are on the take, a source has claimed.
But the diktats have angered many, who feel that it will give off a bad impression.

'This has caused a lot of ill-feeling and frankly some of us would rather not be going to anything at all,' one senior minister told the Independent.

'The rules are unbelievably draconian. We've basically been told we're on our own and have to look after our guests with no official support and we'll have to go by Tube as well.

'I know they're worried about how it will look if we're seen to get special treatment but at the end of the day we're supposed to be representing the Government. I'd rather be sitting at home watching it on television.'

While touring Afghanistan yesterday Mr Cameron confirmed he would be going to events on public transport and so should everybody else.

'I will be using public transport and that is how I recommend [everyone] should travel'.' he said. 'I now use the Tube, I drive my protection team mad in London by saying why on earth are we in the car, the Tube is quicker.

When asked about whether he would use the 'ZiL' lanes, named after the limousines used in Soviet Russia at the height of Communism, he said: 'We are banished from using that terminology.

'I went in a Games lane, but it was not acting as a Games lane when I came back from Chequers on Sunday. We were happily driving on it because everyone else was driving on it.'

And Downing Street confirmed that almost without exception politicians will not go by car.

'All ministers will be expected to travel to the Games like everybody else,' a No. 10 spokesman told MailOnline this morning.

'There will be some limited circumstances when this might be waived but as a general rule that is what they have been told.'

Last week it was revealed that at least 60 ministers and senior MPs has been told to report for duty during the Games and accompany VIPs to events.

David Cameron alone will be taking executives from Google, Citigroup and Cisco Systems.

They will have access to thousands of tickets bought at the taxpayers' expense, including 350 in total for both opening and closing ceremonies.

It came as an extra 1,200 troops were put on standby to protect the Olympics as the fallout continues from the G4S fiasco.

Defence chiefs yesterday placed the servicemen and women some recently back from Afghanistan on 48 hours notice to work as guards at London 2012.

Home Secretary Theresa May and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt begged the Ministry of Defence to provide additional military back-up amid concerns that beleaguered private firm G4S is still struggling to recruit security staff.


Comments ( ): Have Your Say >>