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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 18:18 GMT
Mayor backs London Olympic bid
European 100m champion Dwain Chambers is backing a London bid
Dwain Chambers is backing a London bid
London mayor Ken Livingstone has urged the British Government to throw its weight behind a bid to host the 2012 Olympics in London.

"If Tony Blair supports the bid it will speed up the process greatly," he said on Friday.

Livingstone was joined by European 100m champion Dwain Chambers and the British Olympic Association in calling for a bid.

Consultants Arup published a report looking into the feasability of a London bid on Friday and the public relations war has already started.

The mayor said staging the Games could help restore British pride and regenerate parts of London.

But he emphasised the importance of government support to ensuring that the project was a success.

"It would also mean that an Olympic bid could be properly co-ordinated with the restructuring of the Thames Gateway, transforming a major brown-field site into an economic asset," Livingstone said.

"There would be a real impetus to ensure that planned and confirmed transport improvements, especially the Crossrail project, are in place by 2012."

Hosting the Olympics could boost London's economy by an estimated 70m.

And it could also help create 3,000 full-time jobs in the East End, where the stadium and athletes' village would be based.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News' Sarah Harris
"Most organisations welcome the plan"
BOA chairman Craig Readie
"Governments will only bid on hard economic facts"
London Mayor Ken Livingstone
"It's the best time in 100 years for a British bid"
See also:

25 Oct 02 | Other Sports
31 Jul 02 | Front Page News
26 Jul 02 | Front Page
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