Falconer refuses to answer criticism in Lords

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Indy Politics

Lord Falconer of Thoroton refused to be challenged by the House of Lords yesterday over last week's highly critical report by the National Audit Office on the Millennium Dome.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton refused to be challenged by the House of Lords yesterday over last week's highly critical report by the National Audit Office on the Millennium Dome.

The minister responsible for the project, in his first appearance before Parliament since its publication, said it would be wrong to "pre-empt or prejudice" the Government's reply.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick, a former Tory Chancellor, asked why a further £179m was put into the Dome even though the project was clearly "trading insolvently" by February.

"If that isn't an indictment of the way it was run, what is?" asked Lord Lamont, referring to Lord Falconer's remark on television that the Dome's failure was "in no way an indictment of the way it had been run".

The Cabinet Office ministersaid: "The options were continuing to trade or closure - continuing to trade was the cheaper.The number of visitors... is more than any other paid-for visitor attraction."

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