Plaid MP attacks grossly misleading claims about Olympics legacy in Wales


Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams MP has seized on comments made by the London Mayor’s spokesperson in which he attempted to blame politicians and businesses from Wales for the lack of Olympics resources being spent in the country.

Comments made by Guto Harri on BBC Radio Cymru’s ‘Post Cyntaf’ programme this morning (Wednesday) fly in the face of years of questioning and evidence from Plaid Cymru which show that Wales has been losing out from the start.

Mr Williams has previously criticised the fact that Olympics contracts have overwhelmingly been given to the south east of England, that minimal events will be taking place in Wales, and that Wales is set to lose out economically because of the diversion of lottery funding taken away to fund the Olympics in London.

Only recently, Mr Williams exposed the fact that the Olympics Delivery Authority has been unable to guarantee that Tiers Two and Three contracts will benefit Wales.

Mr Williams called claims that Wales would feel the benefits of the Olympics ‘nonsense’.

Mr Williams said:

“I’m afraid that Mr Harri has made grossly misleading claims on the so-called benefits of the Olympics to Wales.

“He asks why people are only now complaining about this injustice when it’s too late? I and others in Plaid Cymru have raised the issue for years while they refused to listen.

“I’m afraid this just looks like arrogant ignorance – or just lies.

“To suggest that the blame lies with companies from Wales for the fact we don’t have more work is preposterous too.

“It is the Olympics Delivery Authority that has overwhelming given the lucrative work to London and the south east. Even had the decision been made to use more venues and host more games in Wales, then Welsh companies would be on more of a level playing field.

“The figures speak for themselves. £9billion has spent – but what tiny percentage of this in Wales?

“To make matters worse, Wales has seen significant amounts of lottery funding slashed in order to divert money to the regeneration of east London.

“Only recently I raised the fact that the Olympics Delivery Authority is refusing to disclose how the level two and three contracts have been divided.

“Welsh schoolchildren are also missing out as they have to compete with pupils from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the English regions for just 50,000 discounted tickets while 125,000 have been set aside for young people in London.

“The truth is that Wales will have little or no legacy from the Olympics and to say otherwise is vastly misleading the public.”