PM meets Olympics workers for a cuppa before his Cabinet meeting
THE Prime Minister took time out to meet workers and talk exclusively to the East London Advertiser before his Cabinet meeting away from Downing Street held at the 2012 Olympics site this afternoon. He viewed the construction site from an observation platform 90ft above ground then chatted with workers over a cuppa in the site canteen
ABOVE: Builder Frances Haffner, 20, sits next to the PM sharing a joke in the canteen with site workers...
BELOW: Gordon Brown listens to steel erector Terry Gould (left) who was on the dole before the Olympics building work began...
BELOW: Gordon finally gets his Olympics site Cabinet meeting under way...
THE Prime Minister took time out to meet workers and talk exclusively to the East London Advertiser before his Cabinet meeting away from Downing Street which was held at the 2012 Olympics site this afternoon.
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Gordon Brown viewed the massive construction site from an observation platform 90ft above the ground overlooking the Aquatics centre taking shape, then chatted with workers over a cuppa in the site canteen.
The PM and Cabinet heavyweights such as Justice Minister Jack Straw, Chancellor Alistair Darling and Foreign Secretary David Miliband sat down with steel workers and builders.
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But only photographers were allowed to capture this moment while reporters were held back out of earshot by Government minders’.
Steel erector Terry Gould, sitting opposite Gordon, joked that wanted to read the PM’s future in his tea leaves, with a possible General Election impending. But the cup was left untouched.
The 58-year-old from Manchester had been out of work five years. He is now staying with a friend in a council flat in Whitechapel.
“The PM was very nice,” he said. “He didn’t blank you, or anything.
“He was interested in hearing about the industry and how I had found work.”
Mr Brown promised in his Advertiser interview to look into how few East Enders are employed on the huge Olympics site right on their doorstep.
A fifth of the workforce live in the five East London host’ boroughs including Tower Hamlets, Britain’s most deprived borough, Olympics authority figures show. But less than three per cent come from Tower Hamlets itself.
“I’m happy to look into the figures you have given me,” he told the Advertiser reporter.
“They are telling me a third of the workers on the Aquatics project were unemployed before, many of them local.
“Our determination is that thousands of jobs are created. The vast majority will go to workers in this country and, where possible, to local people.”
Some 20,000 jobs would be created by the time the Olympics project is complete.
Mr Brown also met pupils from East Ham’s Langdon Secondary school as well as young 2012 athletics hopefuls, before being whisked off for his Cabinet meeting held at the Olympics Park.