Acting ODA chair issues statement condemning Jack Lemley's remarks about the Olympic Park site

The backlash against former ODA chair Jack Lemley continued apace today as ex-colleagues launched a public attack against him.

Sir Roy McNulty, the acting chair of the ODA who is also tipped to take the job on permanently, released a statement this morning clearly condemning Lemley’s actions following his departure from the ODA in October.

The statement denies recent claims made by Lemley that land remediation of the Olympic Park site is behind schedule and more contaminated than expected.

The statement said: “I want to make it clear that the ODA board does not accept the version of events that Jack Lemley has set out to the media in recent days. The Stratford site is complex and much of the land will need remediating before construction. This was known from the very start of the bid process.”

It continues: “Since September CLM, the ODA’s delivery partner, has been carrying out a full review of the ODA’s programme. Its current assessment is that, based on the planned site access, the site enabling works and remediation can be completed within the time allowed by the 2:4:1 programme.”

The statement comes following a similar denouncement yesterday by Tessa Jowell’s culture department. Jowell and fellow ministers turned their fire on Lemley after the 71-year-old millionaire accused Jowell and London mayor Ken Livingstone of failing to respond to his concerns about rising costs and land contamination on the Olympic site.

Sir Roy also denied Lemley’s claim that the Olympic budget is spiralling out of control. He said: “As has been widely acknowledged the financing requirement for the overall programme will be higher for reasons that have been explained. Mr Lemley will know that costs have not been rising exponentially.” He added that there had been tensions between the ODA and government, but that was to be expected.

Newspaper reports earlier this week claimed that Lemley resigned as chair of the ODA because he was due to be sacked at a meeting with Olympics minister Tessa Jowell later that month.