Using Royal Parks For Olympic Campsites

Mr. Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster) (Con): In answer to the hon. Member for North-West Leicestershire (David Taylor), the merger has already taken place. The Royal Parks constabulary is now part of the Metropolitan police; I am assuming that the Minister was aware of that fact.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex(Mr. Soames) rightly pointed out, our royal parks should be an oasis of calm and quiet contemplation for Londoners, commuters and tourists alike. The notion that in summer 2012 they should become one huge campsite to house those in London for the Olympic games, as suggested by the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the hon. Member forSt. Helens, South (Mr. Woodward), is barmy. It is also in direct breach of the assurances given by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in this House in a debate initiated by me on 24 May 2004. Moneys can be raised to preserve the royal parks by other means, as my hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr. Swire) will point out?he was acting as an auctioneer at one such event last week. Will the Minister assure us that he will keep the Treasury at bay and his Department’s hands off our royal parks?