In a letter seen by Building, the MP warns that the Games may become known as ‘the toxic Olympics’

George Galloway, the Respect MP and former member of the Labour Party, has written to the top decision-makers involved in the London 2012 Olympics to warn them that radioactive and other pollutants on the Olympic Park site pose a threat to workers and residents.

The letter, obtained by Building, was sent to David Miliband, the secretary of state for the environment, Tessa Jowell, the minister for the Olympics, Jack Lemley, the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, Sebastian Coe, the chair of the the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, Mary Reilly, the chair of the London Development Agency and Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London.

In the letter Galloway wrote: “I would like to request information as to when the LDA was first alerted to the potential dangers of radioactive waste on this site.”

His concerns are centred on the Clay Lane housing co-operative, the Lea Valley cycle track and related allotments. Galloway wrote: “I am extremely concerned about the presence of radioactive … and other forms of … environmental hazards buried on this site. I understand that this whole area is to be part of the proposed Olympic Park.”

A spokesperson from Galloway’s House of Commons office said he had not received any responses.

Galloway made a series of demands in the letter, including:

  • The publishing of the results of all surveys of the site.
  • The publishing of all documents relating to waste deposited at the site going back to the 1950s.
  • An independent expert, paid for by the LDA, to examine evidence.
  • A commitment to safety measures, including monitoring equipment to detect any rises in radioactivity during work.
Galloway concluded the letter by saying: “If the Olympics are to be a success, it is essential that they should not become known as the ‘Toxic Olympics’.”

A spokesperson LDA said a detail survey of the site would begin in the autumn and contractors have been appointed to advise should anything out of the ordinary be found.