ODA chief executive Dennis Hone refutes Ucatt claims while appearing before the London Assembly
The chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority has poured cold water on claims that workers wanting to work on the the London 2012 Olympics were subject to blacklisting.
Appearing before the budget and performance committee of the London Assembly, Dennis Hone was questioned on recent media reports - broken by Building - that thousands of workers applying to work on the Olympics were allegedly subject to blacklist checks carried out by stadium contractor Sir Robert McAlpine using public money.
Construction union Ucatt told the Scottish Affairs select committee - which is investigating the issue - last week that the contractor’s payments to blacklisting organisation the Consulting Association rocketed at precisely the time in 2008 that stadium workers were being recruited.
Labour member and chair of the London Assembly committee, John Biggs, referred to the reports and asked Hone - who is now also chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation - if he would be allowing any legacy contractors “to use blacklisting systems”.
Hone replied: “With my ODA hat on, I can say that the ODA did not receive any evidence - or could find any evidence - of blacklisting on the Olympic Park during the construction phase or otherwise. If we had, we would have gone after that because it is not a practice we would have supported in any way, shape or form.”
Ucatt’s claim was last week described by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna as “incredibly serious”. Umunna has also begun asking questions in Parliament about the issue.