Ken quizzed on 2012 legacy

Tessa Jowell and Ken Livingstone are being quizzed by the House of Lords Olympic & Paralympic Committee this morning on the legacy of last year's Games.

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Gordon Brown to blame for Olympic budget ballooning

Former Mayor Ken Livingstone blames Gordon Brown for increase in Olympic budget Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone hasblamed Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown for the dramatic increase in the budgetfor the London Olympics.

The estimated cost of staging the games rose from £2.2bn in 2005 to £9.3bn in 2007. Mr Livingstone, as Mayor of London was one of the leading figures in Britain's bid, was giving evidence today to the House of Lords Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee.

He said:

"We had huge problems with Gordon Brown. No Olympics has ever been told to pay VAT before, so that added another £836m, a completely non-sensical decision to have made.

Also, and this was driven very much by the Treasury and Gordon Brown, he insisted on a much larger budget for emergencies and cost over-runs and I was hostile to this."

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