As speculation mounts over which venue will be chosen to host next year’s Royal wedding, the manager of the Travelodge hotel in Wembley, north London, has been sacked for seeking to influence the voting.
Darren Hutchinson, 40, allegedly offered Prince William and his wife-to-be Kate Middleton ‘an upgrade to a family room with fresh fruit bowl and a bottle of house wine up to £7.99 in value, complimentary English breakfast and a newspaper of their choice’ if they were to choose his establishment, situated conveniently adjacent to London’s North Circular Road, as the venue for their £83m ceremony and wedding night.
Hutchinson said that he had ‘not broken any rules’ and that the upgrades were all ‘within his authority’ as manager. He said he had believed, perhaps naively, that the consequent publicity would help him meet his occupancy targets for 2011 and put him well on the way to Travelodge ‘Manager of the month’ for June. ‘You get a weekend away in any Travelodge – I would have gone to Northampton,’ he told a tribunal.
A spokesman for rival bidders Westminster Abbey said that they did not believe the bribery scandal had harmed their chances of securing the prestige event. ‘We’re offering a full choir and an array of dead poets,’ said an Abbey spokesman. ‘We’re just waiting for that Archbishop chap with the big eyebrows to confirm he can do the gig, but we’re pretty sure it’s game on.’