MPs to grill 2012 bosses over budget

A HOST of top London 2012 officials face a grilling from MPs next week after a government watchdog warned the Olympics is in danger of exceeding its £9.3bn budget and requiring further taxpayer funding.

A National Audit Office report published yesterday highlighted the “real risk” that a drastic reassessment of security costs left little spare cash for further unexpected spending before next summer.

It also raised concerns about the capital’s transport plans and legacy, including the future of venues such as the Olympic Stadium and the apparent failure to encourage more people to exercise.

Those issues are likely to dictate the agenda when Paul Deighton, chief executive of organisers Locog, and top brass from the Olympic Delivery Authority, the Olympic Legacy Company and Department for Culture, Media and Sport are cross-examined by the Public Accounts Committee on 14 December.

The NAO report concluded: “In our view the funding package of £9.298bn is currently so finely balanced there is the real risk that more money will be needed unless there is rigorous action to control costs in ways that represent value for money.”

It comes after it emerged security will cost £553m at the Games, almost double the original estimate, and that more than £40m of public money is to be used to swell the budget for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Radcliffe in Olympic team

MARATHON world record holder Paula Radcliffe has become only the third British athlete to be picked for a fifth Olympic Games. The 37-year-old joins two other marathon runners, Mara Yamauchi and Scott Overall in Team GB for London 2012, taking the number of members to 19.