The government has confirmed that it will not cover the cost of a London bid for the 2012 Olympics.
The announcement came after outgoing Sport England chairman Trevor Brooking said the government would have to fund a bid if one was to get off the ground.

Brooking said government backing was essential because of the decline in Sport England’s budget from £300m to £200m and because it had paid out much of what it had on the national stadium at Wembley and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester this year.

A government spokesman said: “Quite frankly, that is not going to happen. I don’t think there is any case where the government would cover the entire bid.”

The spokesman added that any bid could be funded from lottery money, the British Olympic Association and the London mayor’s office. London mayor Ken Livingstone is a keen supporter of a London bid, primarily to aid the regeneration of Stratford in east London.

A report by Arup, commissioned by the London Development Agency and the government, is to be published next month. Earlier this year Building revealed that it comes to the conclusion that regeneration benefits outweigh costs. It also suggests using the Millennium Dome and the ExCel centre to host some of the indoor sports.