Olympics Minister is Ladbrokes Lunch guest on June 7

Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, is the next high-profile guest for a SJA Ladbrokes Lunch, being staged in central London on Thursday, June 7.

SJA Ladbrokes Lunches are open to all working media, as well as journalism students, sports officials and even politicians, though there is a strict limit on numbers we can accommodate, and priority is always given to SJA members and those first to book.

Attendance at this two-course lunch at the Olde Cock Tavern in Fleet Street costs £12 (including VAT) for SJA members, and £24 (including VAT) for non-members. If anyone has any complaints about the level of VAT charged, we suggest that they take it up with the minister…

A former officer in the Life Guards who saw active service in Northern Ireland and Sarajevo, Hugh Robertson was first elected to parliament as the Conservative MP for Faversham and Mid Kent in 2001. After several years as the shadow minister for sport, as he told the SJA Sporting Question Time Debate in March 2010, he wanted no other job in government than the sport portfolio.

Robertson was duly  appointed Minister for Sport and the Olympics when the Coalition came to power in May 2010.

Robertson is a keen cricketer who has played for the MCC, he was a county-standard hockey player and, most importantly, he supports Chelsea.

Our usual lunch protocols will apply – after we have enjoyed two-course lunch at the Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street, the minister will answer questions on an on-the-record basis (unless our guest specifically asks to go off-the-record on any point, in which case we expect that request to be honoured).

This SJA lunch, generously sponsored by Ladbrokes, represents an outstanding opportunity for feature writers, chief sports writers and correspondents from regional as well as national newspapers and broadcasters for some headline-grabbing copy.

Payment for the lunch needs to be made by cheque (payable to “SJA”), and needs to be made in advance of the lunch. Anyone requiring a VAT invoice needs to advise us, and they will be sent such by the Treasurer.

Rights-free images from the event will be made available on request.

All attendees are also expected to ensure that they make mention of Ladbrokes and the Sports Journalists’ Association event in their published or broadcast reports.

The SJA lunch will take place in a private room at the Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA, directly opposite the Royal Courts of Justice. The venue is served by several rail and Tube stations, include Charing Cross, Embankment, Temple and City Thameslink.

Lunch will start from 12.30pm.

Places are expected to be in great demand and will be allocated on a first-come, first-reserved basis, with preference given to SJA members.

The cost is £12 (including VAT) for fully paid-up SJA members, and £24 (including VAT) for non-members, to include a two-course meal and coffee. Guests are expected to buy their own drinks.

  • Contact Steven Downes by email to (please indicate whether a vegetarian meal is required or if you have other special dietary requirements; these have to be ordered in advance), and write “Hugh Robertson lunch” in the subject field of your email.
  • Payment, with cheques payable to the SJA, may be made on the day, or can be sent to the Treasurer, Randall Northam, 1 Evelyn Court, Malvern Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2JR.
  • Payment may be expected from anyone who books a place at this lunch but does not attend.

All details are subject to change.

First posted May 16.