Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Thursday, 9 February 2012

Jowell attacks 'scandal' of Olympic hotel prices

Shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has called on the government to address the "scandal" of "extortionate" price rises in London hotels during the 2012 Olympics.

Speaking during questions on 9 February 2012, Ms Jowell told MPs of a mother who had been forced to pay £1,000 a night for a specially adapted hotel room in order to take her disabled daughter to the Paralympic Games.

The same room would cost £375 during the Easter holidays, a 167% increase, Ms Jowell claimed.

She told MPs that her team's research found that hotel prices in London during the course of the games were, on average, 315% higher than normal.

"Will he act on behalf of those already struggling families across the UK who want to be able to afford to come to London to enjoy the Olympic and Paralympic Games?" Ms Jowell asked.

Tourism Minister John Penrose said it was "vitally important" to have "properly accessible" accommodation during the course of the games.

But, he said, it was "entirely natural" for hotel prices to alter during the course of the season.

He told MPs that a "tranche" of hotel rooms had recently been made available after the cancellation of a block-booking by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog).

Under a deal struck in 2005, Locog booked around 600,000 room nights in London during the course of the games, for Olympic officials, media and others.

In January, around 120,000 of these rooms were put back on sale to the public after Locog said it no longer needed them.

Mr Penrose said the release of these rooms would "ease" any problems with supply.

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