Lords critical of LTA progress

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has fought back after being labelled “a total shambles” in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

The chair of the All Party Tennis Group, Baroness Billingham, described the organisation’s record as “pitiful” and called for an inquiry into how the LTA uses public money.

Billingham was part of the All Party Tennis Group that levelled similar allegations two years ago when asked to investigate the governing body by the then Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe in the wake of a Davis Cup defeat to Lithuania.

Despite a heavy defeat to Belgium last month in Davis Cup Euro-Africa Zone I, some progress has been made, in particular at women’s world-class level with four Britons currently in the world’s top 150.

Billingham said: “The LTA are a total shambles, tottering from one broken pledge to another, the British press and the world’s press aghast at the huge cost and pathetic results of six years of mismanagement. It is pitiful.

“I call on Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport, to set up an urgent review and inquiry into British tennis. He must insist on transparency of all expenditure and salaries, especially given the LTA receives public money – taxpayers’ money.”

Following the speech, the LTA, who strongly dispute the majority of the allegations, hit back, saying: “The speech contained a number of inaccuracies that do not reflect a true picture of British tennis.”

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