Ticket tout bill scrapped

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A POLITICIAN has vowed to fight on for legislation to tackle ticket touts.

Sharon Hodgson has expressed her disappointment at the demise of her proposed law to tackle ticket touts, who, it is claimed, are pricing real fans out of gigs and shows.

But the Washington and Sunderland West MP has vowed to continue working with the live entertainment sector, in a bid to force the Government to put fans first.

The Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill sought to tackle the growing problem of profiteers by enabling those putting on events to protect their tickets from being resold at a profit.

But when the bill had its Second Reading debate it was not voted on and now, following the end of the last Friday on which the Bill could be debated before the next Queen’s Speech, it has effectively been scrapped.

The proposal attracted support from heavyweight organisations within the entertainment industry, including the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Teenage Cancer Trust and The Music Managers Forum, as well as promoter Harvey Goldsmith, Reading and Leeds Festival organiser Melvin Benn, and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood.

Mrs Hodgson said: “All the way through this process I have been struck by the amount of support that has flooded in, whether from major players in the sport and music sector or from the ordinary fans who are getting fleeced by this unfair practice.

“So while I am very disappointed that the Government hasn’t seen fit to take action on ticket touts and adopt my bill, thanks to that support I am determined to carry on campaigning for a fair deal for fans, both within Parliament and outside.

“The Bill has been written now, so ministers can easily pick it up, dust it off and make it into a law.

“That’s what I’ll be pushing for, and I know that I have the public behind me on this.”

The latest furore over the reselling of tickets has surrounded the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, at the National Gallery in London.

Tickets with a face value of £16.50 have been trading hands for up to £250, despite clear instructions on them that they were not to be resold.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho