British PM David Cameron has risked a fallout with his own MPs after decreeing they must travel to Olympics events by public transport and not in their chauffeur driven cars.
Downing Street has banned ministers from using the controversial Games lanes set aside for VIPs to get to the Olympic Stadium.
But furious MPs have said they would rather watch the Games on TV than cram onto the underground or buses, which would leave them too grumpy to schmooze their guests.
David Cameron insists he will be catching the Tube during London 2012. He has also told every minister they must not take their family to events, even if they paid for the tickets themselves.
They must invite dignitaries and other important guests instead, to ensure the public don’t think they are on the take, a source has claimed. But the diktats have angered many, who feel that it will give off a bad impression.
“This has caused a lot of ill-feeling and frankly some of us would rather not be going to anything at all,” said one senior minister. “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. 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.”
Cameron said, “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.” And Downing Street confirmed that almost without exception politicians will not go by car. “All ministers will be expected to travel to the Games like everybody else,” said a No 10 spokesman.