Tories would abolish National Lottery Commission, says Jeremy Hunt

Shadow culture secretary says regulatory power would pass to the Gambling Commission

Jeremy Hunt, shadow culture minister
Jeremy Hunt, shadow culture minister

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the Conservatives would abolish the National Lottery Commission if the party returned to power.

Delivering a speech in Leeds to mark the National Lottery's 15th anniversary this week, Hunt reiterated the Tories' pledge to restore the lottery to its original purpose of supporting the arts, heritage, sport and charities.

He said the party would scrap the National Lottery Commission and move its role as regulator of the lottery to the Gambling Commission.

The Tories would also bar lottery distributors from spending lottery cash on press and public affairs activities. The party would instead instruct the existing National Lottery Promotions Unit to do the work.

Hunt criticised Labour for giving Lottery funds to statutory bodies to "further political objectives" and accused the Government of diverting almost £3.5bn from the original good causes to its "pet projects" since 1998.

"There will be a restoration of high ambition over low politics; a restoration of arm's length over the Government's foot in it; a restoration of additionality instead of Labour's political bonus balls," he added.

A spokeswoman for the Big Lottery Fund said its communications and marketing team was responsible for raising awareness of where funding had been awarded. But it spent money on such administrative functions only where they added value to the impact of money distributed, she said.

A National Audit Office report published last year said that its costs compared favourably with other public and voluntary sector funded, she added.

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