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. . . and vows to push through Picketts Lock stadium plan

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London mayor Ken Livingstone has pledged to make Picketts Lock the home of UK athletics, effectively rejecting Foster and Partners' plan to transform Wembley into a combined soccer and athletics national stadium.

Speaking to the AJ at the topping-out ceremony for the Greater London Authority headquarters (now christened 'City Hall'), Livingstone said:

'There has got to be a stadium in London in time for the Olympics, that is the most important thing. But I want east London for athletics.'

Livingstone's views were endorsed by deputy mayor Nicky Gavron, who believes large-scale projects, including the proposed south-west to Hackney tube line, will kick-off earlier if the east London scheme goes ahead.

However, the £95 million Picketts Lock complex was thrown into further doubt this week when it was refused Lottery funding. Sport England said a further seven-week review was needed to iron out pressing issues, such as the gap in capital funding, long-term viability, planning and future use.

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