West Ham London Stadium controversy: LLDC boss David Edmonds resigns

 
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West Ham's move into the Olympic Stadium has not been smooth (Source: Getty)

The chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the company that owns the Olympic Stadium, has resigned after Mayor Sadiq Khan announced an investigation into rising conversion costs.

David Edmonds, who has been an LLDC board member since its 2012 inception was appointed chairman in September last year, has become the first high profile departure from the group since West Ham's summer move into the 2012 Olympics arena, now dubbed the London Stadium, has been plunged into crisis.

He has been involved in the post Olympic planning since 2009 when he became a director of the Olympic Legacy Committee.

Khan announced a probe into how the largely taxpayer-funded costs of making the stadium suitable for football have risen by from an expected £272m to £323m.

Read more: How West Ham owners are free to cash in on Olympic Stadium deal

The deal signed by the LLDC to rent the stadium to West Ham for just £2.5m a year has been criticised as a bad deal for the taxpayer who have had to stump up for refurbishing costs such as corner flags, maintenance and the goalposts.

And West Ham's first few months inside the stadium has seen the club struggle with fan disorder inside the ground

"David has made an enormous contribution to the legacy of the London 2012 Games and he has helped to steer the organisation through some extremely challenging issues," said David Goldstone, chief executive of the LLDC. "We thank him for all his hard work and wish him well in the future."

John O'Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, commented: "It is apparent that very little - if any - consideration was given to what was to be done with the stadium once the Olympics were over. There are very serious questions about the shocking lack of forward planning which has left taxpayers with a hefty bill for a stadium whose viability is uncertain. The forthcoming inquiry, which must be conducted efficiently, needs to get to the bottom of how the authorities managed to get themselves into this mess in the first place."

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