Falconer comes clean on Dome warning

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More details of the financial warnings given to ministers about the Dome fiasco will be disclosed tomorrow when the widely-leaked PricewaterhouseCooper report is published by Lord Falconer.

More details of the financial warnings given to ministers about the Dome fiasco will be disclosed tomorrow when the widely-leaked PricewaterhouseCooper report is published by Lord Falconer.

Sources say the New Millennium Experience Company, including Lord Falconer, who holds the Government share, was told by PwC that there was a danger they might be guilty of "wrongful trading while insolvent". The formal warning was made made to the directors of the Dome by Dipankar Ghosh of PwC on 22 August.

PwC has refused to publish the report, saying it would breach commercial confidentiality, but Lord Falconer's Cabinet Office officials have confirmed the document will be placed in the Lords library to make it public tomorrow. Up-to-date accounts of the Dome are also to be published but his office said the figures were not yet ready.

NMEC will close its show on New Year's Eve but it has until the end of next March to complete closure of the Millennium Experience. The NMEC business plan envisages an upturn in visitor numbers in December and if that fails, there could be a further hole in its budget. Perhaps the only part of the show to survive could be a Blackadder programme, in which Baldrick and Blackadder go back through time. This was made specially for the Millennium Experience and will be screened for the first time tonight on British TV.

The Government is still hoping to seal a deal within a month with Legacy, which plans to turn the Dome into a hi-tech business park.

Lord Falconer has insisted he did not offer his resignation to Tony Blair, but a senior Government source said: "He was fed up with the whole thing but Tony made it clear he wants him to see it through.

"There have been dreadful things going on there and it isn't his fault. He has sometimes wondered whether he would have been better off staying at the Bar."

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