Rally GB starts legal action on sponsor

Rally Great Britain has begun legal proceedings against the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) following the WAG's decision to terminate its sponsorship contract for the UK's round of the World Rally Championship

Rally GB starts legal action on sponsor

The action from Rally GB's commercial arm - International Motor Sports Limited - had been expected after WAG pulled the plug on a £2m per season deal which was scheduled to run until the end of 2011. The loss of funding has raised question marks over this October's Cardiff-based event.

While nobody from IMS has commented on the decision to begin legal action against the Assembly, politicians in Wales have supported the decision.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister Jenny Randerson said: "This is a huge blow for Cardiff, they were hoping to expand the role Cardiff had to play in the rally and now the whole future seems to be in doubt.

"If Wales Rally GB is right in its assertion that WAG has a legal contract until 2011, then it is truly astonishing that WAG has taken this sudden decision to cut funding without any discussion.

"If legal action is successful, then it will end up costing the taxpayer and the stretched public purse even more than it would have done by continuing the funding.

"This event creates jobs and investment, at a time when recession is biting hard, this decision will lead to further job losses and cuts in inward investment into Wales."

Jenny Willott, the Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central, added: "It is an extremely surprising and very disappointing decision. Wales Rally GB brings people and money to Cardiff and South Wales and to take away sponsorship for the event seems a short-sighted decision to make during a recession."

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