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Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 19:38 GMT 20:38 UK
Brown 'considers 2012 ministry'
Athletes
Mr Brown wants to sport to help improve the nation's health
Plans for a ministry for the 2012 Olympics are under consideration by Gordon Brown, the BBC has learnt.

Sports editor Mihir Bose said Mr Brown, the favourite to succeed Tony Blair, would unveil a sports manifesto during his first 100 days as prime minister.

As well as the Olympics, the ministry would cover sports and "wellbeing", in an effort to boost the nation's health.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) currently has responsibility for the Games.

Mr Brown is the clear favourite to succeed Mr Blair, who has said he will stand down on 27 June.

Challenge uncertain

It is uncertain whether his sole challenger, left-wing MP John McDonnell, will be able to gather the required 45 nominations to be entered into the ballot.

There has been previous speculation that Mr Brown might consider the radical restructuring of some Whitehall departments during his first 100 days.

Sources told the BBC that a sports manifesto, to be unveiled within his first months as prime minister, could include a new department, to be called the Olympics, Sports and Wellbeing Ministry.

The idea has been canvassed in Whitehall and among Labour MPs and sports chiefs.

Mihir Bose said Mr Brown wanted a heavyweight to take charge of the Olympics and wanted to ensure that sports played a part in improving the nation's health.

He would also pledge help for South Africa to stage the 2010 World Cup.

The Olympic Delivery Authority, a non-departmental public body of the DCMS, is in charge of delivering the venues and infrastructure of the 2012 Games in London.

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games is responsible for organising, publicising and staging the Games.

There have been concerns about the rising budget for the games - which now stands at 9.35bn.

It will be funded from various sources, including 6bn from central government, 2.2bn from the National Lottery, 625m from London council tax payers and an extra 300m from the Mayor of London.

This story will be broadcast on Inside Sport, Monday 14 May 2305 BST on BBC1


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