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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 09:57 GMT
Caborn defends Olympic progress
Sports Minister Richard Caborn
Caborn is confident that London's planning in on track
Sports Minister Richard Caborn has rejected a claim that the London 2012 Olympic development plan is being endangered by political interference.

American Jack Lemley resigned earlier this month as Olympics Delivery Authority chairman.

He said: "I went there to build things, not sit and talk about it, so I felt it best to leave the post and come home."

Caborn responded: "I am disappointed by Jack. The IOC came over here and gave us a clean bill of health."

Speaking at the Financial Times Sports Industry Summit in London, Caborn continued: "The board he was on was one of the strongest we put together. It is made up of top industrialists.

"They are not politicians, they are top executives. I have every confidence in the board. There is no political interference."

By any analysis we have made a strong start and hit all our major milestones

DCMS statement

Lemley, who has never previously left a construction contract early, feared the project could be delayed by local politics.

"I felt it was better to come home now than face that in five or six years," he explained.

He was surprised by the opposition of some of the 300 local businesses to moving away from the site in Stratford.

"Some of the people were happy to move, and some of them weren't. In any event, there was a huge amount of local politics.

"Those are the kind of things that confuse and frustrate the process."

And Lemley was also unhappy about plans to convert the Olympic Stadium into a football stadium.

"A football field is not compatible with an athletic stadium," said the 71-year-old.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) refuted Lemley's claims and said it is important to start planning the legacy of London 2012 now.

"It is a strength of the project that we have been having a debate about long-term legacy use of 2012 facilities now - rather than years in the future.

"This project has been defined by strong political co-operation from the outset and that remains the case.

"That is what makes London 2012 unique. By any analysis we have made a strong start and hit all our major milestones ."

SEE ALSO
Lemley quits 2012 Olympics post
18 Oct 06 |  Olympics 2012
'No repeat of Wembley' for 2012
30 Aug 06 |  London
London 2012 visits East Midlands
11 Jul 06 |  Leicestershire
Preparing for 2012
06 Jul 06 |  Olympics 2012
Lessons for the Olympics
31 Mar 06 |  Sport Homepage
2012 Games organisers co-locate
11 Jan 06 |  Olympics 2012
Deighton handed top Olympic role
19 Dec 05 |  Olympics 2012
Sydney chief handed 2012 position
22 Nov 05 |  Olympics 2012
Tunnel engineer hired for 2012
18 Nov 05 |  Olympics 2012


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