Page 3 Profile: Helen Grant, minister for sport and tourism


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Off anywhere nice this summer?

Who knows. This whole passport processing debacle has left many a holiday plan hanging in the balance. But lucky for us, Tourism Minister Helen Grant has a solution: take a staycation!

What? Swap Marbella for Morecambe?

Uh, that’s the plan. As HM Passport Office wades through the highest number of applications they’ve had to deal with in 12 years, Ms Grant said she was “confident” that the backlog of up to 30,000 applications would be cleared in time for families to go away. But she also took the time to plug the Great British holiday, saying: “I think there’s a lot to be said for the ‘staycation’.”

What does she suggest?

According to the Grant tourism guide, “I think we are going to have a great summer, we are certainly going to have a great summer of sport too. There’s lots of opportunities to build your holiday around a spoilt-for-choice list of events, the Tour de France Grand Depart, we’ve got the golf, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games, we’ve got football that we can watch on the TV.”

Sounds like ‘Let them take staycations!’

It seems it’s hard to put a microphone in front of Grant without a gaffe occurring. At the beginning of the year she said the key to getting women into sport was cheerleading. A few months earlier, as the Minister for Sport, she failed to get a single correct answer on a quiz put to her on local television. Questions included “Who holds the FA Cup?” and “Which Paralympian won the most gold medals?”

Anyway, what about my holiday?

Earlier this week Home Secretary Theresa May issued an apology to people whose travel plans had been disrupted by the delays. If that doesn’t do it, then I hear Cornwall is lovely at this time of year...