The national media has been quite vocal about the Olympics tickets given to ministers after the publication of the list of freebies by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The BBC simply report that government wanted to maximise the economic boost,the ITV mentions the freebies to the huge corporates, the Telegraph points out the the information was buried on a bad news day, the Daily Mail reports the names of ministers that received tickets.
It comes of no surprise to Helen Grant's name in there. While I can fully accept that the ticket for the Gymnastics is fine if, as the list states, she was the 'Ambassadorial Host' and therefore I assume performing a function at the event, the tickets for the Boxing and Judo were clearly given to her as an 'Ambassador Programme' which I can only assume means that this is a lesser role than host.
1. An Ambassador Programme might be reasonable if there was a clear role and work plan for the attendance, however the inclusion of the term Host against the other ticket suggest that the Boxing and Judo tickets were freebies
2. Does the ambassador get a nice 'royal box' to sit in, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, comfy seats etc, while the rest of the public get to pay standard fare and sit together?
3. There are quite a few ministers (perhaps 120), yet Helen Grant gets 3 chances to see the Olympics out of the 60 tickets given to ministers. She must have been keen to help.
The bottom line is that once again we have evidence that the MP for Maidstone and the Weald is having a great time at our expense.