American says he resigned from ODA because politics was threatening to bring the games in late and overbudget
Jack Lemley has warned that political squabbling is threatening the delivery of the London Olympic Games.
Lemley said that he resigned as the chairman of the ODA because he did not want to have his reputation of delivering projects on time ruined. He said: “I felt it better to come home now than face that in five or six years."
In an interview with the Idaho Statesman, which will be highly embarassing to the government, Lemley said: "I went there to build things, not to sit and talk about it, so I felt it best to leave the post and come home.”
Lemley said that politics was threatening to bring the project in late and over-budget. He said there had been a “huge amount of local politics” involved in moving the 300 businesses from the 700-acre Olympic site in East London. He said that the issue was the “kind of thing that confuses and frustrates the process.”
Lemley also criticised the current debate over whether the main Olympic arena should be converted into a football stadium after the games declaring that: “A football field was not compatible with an athletic stadium”.
Lemley was appointed chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority for four years in November, and started the role in March.
Three months ago Lemley promised that there would be no repeat of the problems at Wembley stadium in the delivery of the Games infrastructure.
He said: "The British construction and engineering industry doesn't deserve the rap they're getting because of what's happened at Wembley.''