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Government criticised for revealing details of £1.2 million Olympic tickets spend amid Algerian hostage crisis

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

January 19, 2013 | 2 min read

According to figures from the Telegraph, the government spent £1.17 million from the taxpayers’ pocket on Olympic and Paralympic tickets for ministers, actors and business leaders.

However, it is not the amount of money spent, which was far over the £750,000 budget, which is being criticised, but rather the timing of the information release.

John Mann, a Labour MP, compared the decision to release the figures during the Algerian hostage crisis with Labour spin doctor Jo Moore's infamous email stating the September 11 attacks as a good day to “bury bad news”

Mann said: “People will be very cynical about the Government doing this now when everyone is rightly concentrating on what is happening in Algeria."

Adding: "It is yet another attempt by successive governments to bury bad news."

However, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, quashed any suggestions of attempts to “bury bad news”, saying: “The London Olympic and Paralympic Games were a phenomenal success. To suggest that government should be reproached for playing a part in that by hosting delegations and promoting British interest and business on this international platform is ridiculous.

He added: “It took a while to collate the required information and as with all written ministerial statements we notified Parliament earlier this week of our intention to publish."

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