Tories want apology for Booth's lottery comments

The Conservatives have offered to drop their complaint against Sir Clive Booth, the chairman of the Big Lottery Fund, if he makes a full written apology and withdraws his remarks on the party's lottery policies.

Greg Clark, charities spokesman for the Tories, made the offer in response to Booth's letter to today's Third Sector, in which he says his language may have been "too graphic" but he felt justified in raising concerns. He also says there was "much to be reassured about in the Conservative Party's subsequent announcement of new policies on National Lottery funding".

Booth had previously alleged that the Tories were hostile to the voluntary sector and offered them a lesson in "elementary arithmetic" (Third Sector, 30 January).

Clark said Booth's admission about his language was "a wholly inadequate way to describe something that is simply false".

He said: "Booth seems ludicrously to suggest we may have altered our policy on the basis of his comments."

The Cabinet Office is investigating the complaint that Booth infringed a code that says members of non-departmental public bodies should not let political views intrude into their work.

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