Letter to the Chairman of the Committee
from the Minister for Sport
CMS SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO MAJOR SPORTING
During his evidence on 1 March, Ken Bates made
a number of comments about my role in the Wembley Stadium project.
I am looking forward to the opportunity next Wednesday to put
the record straight. However, I would like to correct one particular
error of fact, namely that I failed to invite him to brief me
on the new national stadium following my appointment as Minister
This is not correct. It is worth bearing in
mind that I was appointed as Minister for Sport on 29 July 1999,
the same date that the design for the new Wembley Stadium was
announced. Following my appointment, I asked my officials to arrange
a briefing on the project with Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL).
My officials wrote to Bob Stubbs on 2 August 1999 requesting this.
The briefing took place on 21 September with Bob Stubbs and Geoff
Taylor, representing WNSL. I also had a meeting on the issue with
all the relevant parties, including WNSL, at the Sport England
offices on 19 October. Interestingly, Mr Bates did not attend
Furthermore, I met Mr Bates at Wembley during
the England v Scotland Euro 2000 qualifying match on 17 November
1999. He invited both myself and Chris Smith to look at the design
plans for the new stadium during the half time break during which
time we did, of course, discuss the proposals.
I hope this clarifies matters and should be
grateful if you could bring this to the attention of the other