Tower Hamlets is chosen to welcome the Olympic Torch to London

The Olympic torch will be welcomed into London by Tower Hamlets as the borough gears up for the 2012 Games, it was announced today.

Tower Hamlets has been chosen over the other London boroughs to mark the first point where the torch relay enters the capital after making a journey from Land’s End.

It will arrive on July 20 next year, a week before the spectacular global event starts in Stratford and people can nominate torch-holders to carry it across the borough the following day.

From there it will visit the four other host boroughs - Hackney, Greenwich, Newham and Waltham Forest - before the relay passes through all London boroughs and returns to the Olympic Stadium on July 27.

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to highlight the unique character of Tower Hamlets – showcasing the borough to the world.

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“We’re working with LOCOG [the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) to make sure that the arrival of the torch is an event to remember.”

It will take 70 days and 110 people a day to carry the torch from Land’s End to its destination and LOCOG’s Torchbearer programme is seeking 2,012 “inspirational people” to join the relay.

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International torch relays were scrapped after the procession ahead of the Beijing 2008 Games was marked by political protests.

A council spokeswoman said Tower Hamlets was selected following an agreement signed by Mr Rahman and LOCOG in February. For more information and to nominate a torchbearer visit

The deadline to respond is June 29.

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