Tessa Jowell in row over £10,000 trip to Brazil to watch Lewis Hamilton (and guess who paid for it?)

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell came under attack today for taking a trip to Brazil which included tickets to watch Lewis Hamilton in the Grand Prix at the weekend.

Ms Jowell and two government officials were at the Interlagos circuit to witness Hamilton becoming the youngest Formula One champion at the start of their five-day excursion funded by the British taxpayer.

Ms Jowell was the guest of Brazilian sports minister Orlando Silva.

Her private secretary and Nicky Roche, a director at the Government Olympic Executive, re-arranged their flights after the consul general in Brazil secured F1 tickets for them at short notice.

The excursion for three government employees to South America is thought to have cost at least £10,000 and has angered some MPs who say the Olympics minister should be more frugal during tough economic times.

After the race the trio flew to Recife in north-eastern Brazil to observe the 'International Inspiration' community sports project, a £9million scheme part funded by the British Government after it pledged during the 2012 bid to help developing countries.

Ms Jowell and her aides will fly to Rio de Janeiro later this week to advise executives running the city's bid to stage the 2016 Olympics, before returning to London on Thursday.

SOURCE

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