Olympics committee will feel “full force of the law” over rerouted marathon, says Tower Hamlets council

TOWER Hamlets council is considering using the full force of the law to bring the Olympic marathon back to its rightful home - the East End.

Claiming the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games’s (LOCOG) decision to take the marathon out of the East End was unlawful, the council has sought the advice of Queen’s Counsel and has sent a pre-action letter to LOCOG prior to its application for Judicial Review to quash the decision to reroute the Olympic marathon.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “We have not taken the decision to seek a Judicial Review lightly; however we feel that there is no alternative option open to us.

“We believe that LOCOG has acted unlawfully in re-routing the Olympic marathon and failed to adhere to the spirit of the original bid which sought to showcase east London, including the East End.

“We are the only one of the five host boroughs that will not hold an Olympic event. We’re concerned that Tower Hamlets will be little more than a glorified thoroughfare between the City of London and the Olympic Park.

“We have asked LOCOG to do the right thing and bring the marathon back to the East End but they have steadfastly refused to change their position.

“Despite this, we remain wholly committed to supporting the Olympics when they come to London. We want them to be the best Games they can possibly be – and we believe in order to achieve this LOCOG must deliver the Games in the way they originally promised.”

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Back in 2005 when Britain jumped for joy after beating Paris to host the 2012 Olympics, Tower Hamlets was set to hold the basketball and walking race as well as the marathon.

Bit by bit LOCOG has chipped away at the borough’s involvement. The basketball was moved out of the borough for cost reasons in 2007 and the walking race route, which would have taken in Victoria Park, has also been changed.

Tower Hamlets was notified by LOCOG that the Olympic marathon would no longer start at Tower Bridge and run through the heart of the borough to finish in the Olympic Stadium as stated in the original Bid document on 25 August 2010. LOCOG took the decision without any consultation with the borough.

So far more than 1,100 people have signed up to a petition to bring the Olympic marathon back to the East End.