Olympics: Cameron to travel by public transport

Last Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 19:46

London: British Prime Minister David Cameron and his colleagues will be travelling to the Olympics events by public transport buses and the Tube instead of official government cars that may lead to traffic jams in London.

In a directive that has not gone down too well with his ministers, Cameron has banned them from using their cars and from using the special Olympics lanes dedicated to transporting athletes and officials.

Ministers have also been told not to take family members along to Olympics events, but be ready to entertain foreign leaders and businessmen as guests of the government.

The rules have angered some ministers who are planning not to attend the flagship event.

During a visit to Afghanistan, Cameron told newsmen yesterday: "I will be using public transport and that is how I recommend (everyone) should travel. I now use the Tube, I drive my protection team mad in London by saying why on earth are we in the car, the Tube is quicker".

One unhappy cabinet minister told The Independent: "This has caused a lot of ill-feeling and frankly some of us would rather not be going to anything at all. The rules are unbelievably draconian. We`ve basically been told we`re on our own and have to look after our guests with no official support and we`ll have to go by Tube as well".

The minister added: "I know they`re worried about how it will look if we`re seen to get special treatment but at the end of the day we`re supposed to be representing the Government. I`d rather be sitting at home watching it on television."

A 10, Downing Street spokesperson said: "All ministers will be expected to travel to the Games like everybody else. There will be some limited circumstances when this might be waived but as a general rule that is what they have been told."

Cameron is expected to spend much of his time during the Olympics meeting business leaders including Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems and Vikram Pandit, the chief executive of Citigroup.

Earlier this week, reports said that Britain was laying out the red carpet for leaders and officials of `cash-rich` countries such as India, Brazil and China during the Olympics to lobby and win high-value trade deals for British companies.

A building Lancaster House has reportedly been refurbished opposite Buckingham Palace to hold meetings between ministers and politicians from the target countries for deals that will help the ailing British economy.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 19:46

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