Labour has called on the Government to come clean about the nature of the deal to allow West Ham to take over the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
Shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant called the affair a “fiasco” after it was revealed that transformation costs had reached £272million with only £15million coming from the club which will be its anchor tenant.
The total bill for the stadium has topped £700million and there are still question marks over the legitimacy of Newham Council’s £40million contribution which the EU may consider to be state aid.
The figure soared from an original estimate of £154million after it became clear that creating the largest cantilever roof in the world caused significant engineering headaches.
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Mr Bryant told MPs the final figure was more per spectator than Wembley stadium, and more over budget than the total cost of converting the 2002 Commonwealth Games venue for use by Manchester City.
He said: “This has the feel of a fiasco cooked up somewhere between the Mayor’s Office, the Departure for Culture, Media and Sport and the Treasury. Which is why, in the interests of transparency, I urge the government to publish the full details of West Ham’s secret deal as a matter of urgency.”
London mayor, and now MP, Boris Johnson said the problems were built into the original design, under a Labour Government, which only planned for the stadium to become a small-scale athletics venue.
“It was the Treasury under Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown who decided to go ahead with a stadium that was completely unsuitable for the purpose,” he added.
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It is unlikely there will be full transparency regarding the deal, said Culture Secretary John Whittingdale for reasons of commercial confidentiality.
The debate on the stadium was a subplot to a wider discussion about the sporting legacy of the 2012 Games which Mr Bryant said were “an own goal, a dropped baton, a belly flop” – a charge Mr Whittingdale denied.
“We were always clear that legacy was at the heart of our preparation” he said. He added that the legacy was seen in increased sporting participation and the regeneration of east London.
Meanwhile, it was revealed this week that Japan’s new national stadium, the centrepiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics, will cost more than £1.3billion to build, nearly twice the original estimate, and be completed two months later than first thought.