Branson wants Lottery compensation

Sir Richard Branson and his People's Lottery consortium will ask for £30 million compensation following their failed bid to run the National Lottery, it was reported today.

The Virgin tycoon and his team will say that the National Lottery Commission should re-imburse them for the money they spent on the bid, the Express said.

The People's Lottery were said to be pursuing the claim because they felt they were "actively misled" by the Commission.

Last August the Commission gave qualified backing to the bid but later awarded the seven-year licence to run the Lottery to Camelot.

The £30 million would be expected to come from the Treasury which funds the Commission.

People's Lottery chief executive Simon Burridge told the Express that the consortium's suppliers had put "serious amounts of money" into the bid and felt "cheated".

He said: "We have a strong case for compensation even before the Commission chose us in August and have an even stronger case after it backed us.

"We are writing to the Commission to request payment for our costs. If they are responsible for it they should pay for it."

The People's Lottery was widely tipped to be chosen to take over the National Lottery franchise once Camelot's tenure was over.

In August Dame Helena Shovelton, then chair of the National Lottery Commission, told the People's Lottery it would be the sole bidders for the franchise.

But following an appeal to the High Court by Camelot, the bidding process again became a two-horse race. Dame Helena then resigned and Lord Burns took over.

Last month the People's Lottery was told that their bid had failed, a decision which left Sir Richard "stunned and extremely disappointed".

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