Labour MPs call for Dome debate

Click to follow
Indy Politics

The government will face an embarrassing rebellion by backbenchers today against proposals to spend more millions on the Millennium Dome.

The government will face an embarrassing rebellion by backbenchers today against proposals to spend more millions on the Millennium Dome.

More than 50 Labour MPs have signed an Early Day Motion, calling for an emergency debate to condemn plans to spend even more money on the Greenwich site when the Dome closes at the end of the year.

Martin O'Neill, one of the critics and chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Trade and Industry, said the cost of cleaning the site could reach £300m.

MPs decided to act following suggestions that ministers want to extend the life of the much-criticised Millennium Commission beyond its deadline at the end of this year. Ministers argue that it needs to remain in place to secure more funds from the National Lottery to cover the cost of any arising liabilities.

But backbenchers fear that ministers will rubber-stamp the extension instead of allowing a vote on the matter. They also believe any new money would be used to bail out the Dome. Any cost for the site's clean-up would be on top of the £1bn which has already been spent on the attraction after months of disappointing visitor figures.

Robert Marshall-Andrews, the Labour MP for Medway, said: "We want to turn this into a vote of confidence in the Millennium Commission."

Opponents of the project are likely to seize on the forthcoming report by the National Audit Office, which is widely expected to paint a picture of failures and incompetence in the handling of the Dome.

Comments