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Rugby World Cup Tickets

Volume 579: debated on Thursday 1 May 2014

5. What steps he is taking to prevent tickets for the 2015 rugby world cup being purchased by organised syndicates of touts. (903809)

I am grateful to the hon. Lady and the members of the all-party parliamentary group on ticket abuse for the important work they have done on this issue. However, while I am aware of the concerns of the rugby world cup organisers, there is no evidence to suggest that introducing legislation to prohibit ticket touting is needed to deliver a successful event this year.

I know that the Secretary of State has his own opinions on this issue, but he will no doubt have heard this question being answered in the same way month after month. The Government seem to think that there will not be a problem, but if they bothered to look online, they would see that there already is a problem. Thousands of tickets for the rugby world cup are already for sale online at many times face value. If the Secretary of State will not accept the Opposition Front Bench’s offer of co-operation in banning the unauthorised resale of tickets, will he at least accept the recommendation of the all-party group on ticket abuse that calls for greater transparency and adequate protection for consumers?

I know that the hon. Lady is very passionate about this issue and I commend her for her leadership, alongside my hon. Friend the Member for Hove (Mike Weatherley), of the APPG on ticket abuse. She will know that the Culture, Media and Sport Committee looked at this issue in 2008, as did the previous Government in 2009. I agree with their broad conclusion that there is no need for further legislative action. However, I would be more than happy to sit down with the hon. Lady and discuss her concerns further.