The Truth

London Mayor Red Ken Exposes his Deceit over Olympic Bid .........

added 27/4/08

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has let the cat out the bag at a Mayoral hustings event when he admitted why he wanted the 2012 Olympic Games to come to the capital.

He said, "I didn't bid for the Olympics because I wanted three weeks of sport. I bid for the Olympics because it's the only way to get the billions of pounds out of the Government to develop the East End."

"It's exactly how I played it to ensnare the Government to put money into an area it has neglected for 30 years."

Here we have a Labour mayor manipulating a Labour government into regenerating a part of the city that has been neglected for a generation despite Red Ken's party being in government for the past eleven years.

Livingstone also admitted that he knew the original budget for the Games was an underestimate and that it was likely to rise significantly if London hosted the event.

The Guardian reports:

His admission comes three days after the chairman of the influential Public Accounts Committee accused Livingstone and the Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, of misleading parliament and the public over the budget issue.

When London bid for the Games the budget was put at 4bn, a figure that proved wildly inaccurate, spiralling to 9.3bn, the figure announced by Jowell in March last year.

Jowell has always insisted the 4bn figure was given in good faith and was based on the best available evidence, but Livingstone yesterday said he knew it was inaccurate, and reiterated that his support for the bid was motivated by a desire to attract government investment to the east end of London.

"I was fairly certain that it would end up costing us more [than 4bn]," he told Radio Five Live. "I could not make the case for massive investment in London if we did not have the sword of Damocles of the Olympics hanging over us.

I would never have got what will be close to 10bn of investment without the Olympics. My assumption was that it would not be that far out [of 4bn] but most of the increase in the budget is because the government has decided to invest in 35,000 homes rather than 6,000, so we are building for a far larger development."

Livingstone thought the Games would cost less than the 9.3bn funding package. "I am fairly confident that the infrastructure, the venues and such like will cost just over 7bn, and the security budget will take it up to around 8bn."

He also said he would have refused permission for Chinese secret service officers to accompany London's torch relay had he known their identity.

"We were told they were flame attendants, which is a bit like the head of the British security services being described as a street operative for wet jobs. Had we known, we would have said no. When we get the 200 Olympic teams here with presidents and prime ministers we must be very firm that diplomatic protection must be provided by British police officers rather than goons you might bring in who might shoot a member of the public just for getting in the way."

Agreed on this point, Mr Livingstone, but your party has an appalling record of letting in wrong 'uns.