Johnson's Olympic gaffe
6th September 2007, 19:13
Boris Johnson is not the first politician to try to exploit London 2012 for his own ends - Ken Livingstone has been at it for years - but his first step into Olympic waters was not promising. Johnson dropped a major clanger at the launch of his campaign for the London mayoral election yesterday, promising to give cheap London 2012 tickets to local schoolchildren in direct contravention of the capital's contract with the IOC, and possibly European law.
Johnson's policy had clearly not been checked with London 2012 as, according to Olympic regulations, host cities cannot offer discounts or preferable terms in their local market. It is also thought that fixing ticket prices in favour of Londoners would contravene European competition law. One way round the rules would be for the mayor's office to bulk-buy tickets and pass them on to children at a discount, but even that might breach anti-touting legislation.