Liberal Democrats table parliamentary questions to identify who who was responsible for Games budget

Chancellor Gordon Brown will face fresh questions over his responsibility for the growing costs of the London Olympics.

The Liberal Democrats today accused the chancellor of approving an open-ended budget and criticised his handling of the recent confusion over VAT rules on the project.

Their intervention follows culture secretary Tessa Jowell's admission last week that the estimated cost of the Olympics has risen from £2.375bn to £3.3bn.

Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, has now tabled a series of parliamentary questions in a bid to pinpoint which ministers and officials were involved in budget decisions for the Olympics.

Cable said: “Costs have clearly been massively underestimated. The chancellor accepted the International Olympic Committee requirement to give a government financial guarantee. We need to know what checks he made before making this commitment.”

He added that any extra financial support should come mainly from the private sector.

Over the weekend, sources close to the chancellor said current Olympics minister Tessa Jowell would be sacked if Gordon Brown became prime minister.

The Chancellor is said to regard Miss Jowell, heavily criticised for allowing the Olympics bill to run out of control, as being “too lightweight” to head such a massive project.

Sources claimed Brown would replace her as culture secretary with a heavyweight Cabinet Minister, or appoint a new deputy with more experience in financial affairs.