Money had not been set aside by LDA to compensate for businesses forced to relocate from east London site
The man in charge of buying the land on the Olympic park has been suspended as part of an investigation into a £100m hole in the 2012 accounts of the London Development Agency (LDA).
Gareth Blacker, director at the body's Olympic legacy directorate, is on indefinite leave while a team from accountant KPMG investigates irregularities that emerged during a routine audit. There is no evidence of wrongdoing.
The forensic accountants were called in after checks on the department's books revealed that between £60m and £100m, due to be reserved as compensation for businesses forced to relocate from the east London site, had not been set aside. It is understood the investigation will assess whether this was a mistake or a deliberate cover-up.
To date, the LDA has paid more than £750m for its deals on the Olympic land. However, 72 of the 193 firms relocated are still in negotiations over compensation.
Earlier this month, the LDA admitted “additional spending commitments” had been identified as part of an internal review. It said: “No additional overall borrowing is needed and 2009 expenditure is accounted for.”
The news will be a further embarrassment to London mayor Boris Johnson in the week that one of his deputy mayors, Ian Clement, resigned over misuse of his corporate credit card.