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London 2012 Olympics ahead of schedule, claims Jowell

Tessa Jowell has claimed the 2012 London Olympics is ahead of schedule, and said the spiraling costs of the programme were now under control.

The statement follows recent reports that the Games are now £900 million over budget ( London 2012 Olympics shoot £900 million over budget - and there's still six years to go), and comments from former Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chair Jack Lemley, who said he left the organisation due to in-fighting among politicians ( Lemley left ODA 'due to fear of spiralling Olympic costs').

The Sports Minister said discussions had taken place between herself and London Mayor Ken Livingstone and that the public should be assured that costs were under control.

'I refer people back to the memorandum between myself and the mayor and we are in discussions on how the shortfall will be met,' she told the AJ.

Jowell also reaffirmed that the plans are ahead of schedule, despite Lemley's comments last month.

Jowell said: 'We are actually ahead of Sydney and Athens when they were at this stage. Look at the milestones we have already hit - and we are still very much on schedule to the plan Jack [Lemley] initiated - two years planning, four years construction and one year testing.'

by Richard Vaughan

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