The battle to expose – or hide – the full details of the deal that put West Ham in the Olympic Stadium rumbles on – with thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money spent on the wrangle over disclosure.
The Information Commissioner ordered the London Legacy Development Corporation to open its books after aspects contract suggested that the football club had received advantageous concessions to become an anchor tenant.
Chairman David Edmonds confirmed on Monday (January 4) that LLDC had spent £4,000 to date on legal fees in its bid to keep the deal with West Ham confidential – and this figure is likely to rise, especially if it decides to take the decision to a tribunal.
Deputy chairman of the budget and performance committee Stephen Knight said: “It is astonishing that the LLDC is spending thousands of pounds of public money on lawyers to keep the details of the deal with West Ham secret. The Information Commissioner has looked at the arguments and ordered the LLDC to publish the deal in full – and the LLDC should clearly now do so.
“Having funded this stadium, Londoners have a right to know about how their money is being spent through this deal.”
The agreement was released in August but certain sections were redacted.
Mr Edmonds said commercial confidentiality of “small bits” of information trumped openness according to legal advice he had received and could result in a breach of contract with West Ham.
He said: “Those small pieces relate to the concession agreement with West Ham in terms of what they pay, they relate to the naming rights, they relate to the terms and conditions that apply were the owners of West Ham in due course to sell.
“In all of those cases, our clear legal advice is that publishing the details would be in breach of our original contract with West Ham.
“It is nothing to do with a lack of transparency on our part.”
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