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Mrs. Theresa May (Maidenhead) (Con): I thank the Foreign Secretary for prior sight of his statement. It is truly a pleasure to rise to the Dispatch Box today because it is a proud day, with a great result for London and for Britain. It is literally brilliant news.
Now is not the time for qualified praise or cautious welcomes. Now is the time for heartfelt congratulations and thanks to all those responsible for bringing the games to London. That includes the Prime Minister, who has proved that his schmoozing skills are truly of an Olympic standard. Thanks are due to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and her ministerial team for all their hard work, to the Mayor of London, and, above all, to my colleague Lord Coe, who has proved an inspirational leader in putting our bid together. The efforts of his team have been astounding. I am sure that all my hon. Friends agree that the presentation that Lord Coe and his team made today in Singapore was truly inspirational.
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I also offer our thanks to all the sporting organisations and individual sportsmen and women who have worked so hard to deliver a stunning result. Of course, the Olympics will provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase to the world all that is great about Great Britain: our country, history, music and culture, not forgetting our fine food and drink. I am sure that all the world leaders gathering today in Scotland for the G8 summit will be able to testify to the quality of British cuisine.
Naturally, we have some detailed questions about the preparations for the games, especially the Bill that will be introduced shortly. We want to avoid the overruns that occurred in Sydney and Athens and to scrutinise projects to ensure that the taxpayer receives value for money. We are keen to ensure that the concerns of residents and especially businesses in the Lower Lea valley are understood and addressed. We will want further guarantees about the ability to deliver the transport and infrastructure links on time and to budget. We are determined that mistakes such as the Dome and Picketts Lock must not be repeated.
When can the Government give us more detail about the organising committee and the compensation for businesses and home owners affected by the bid? Will the Government reconsider their decision to take a tax take on the Olympic lottery game? Will they fulfil their promise to establish a national sports foundation, which could be such a help to our budding Olympic athletes?
Those detailed discussions are for another time, especially as I am reliably informed that Stratford is still partying. Today is about celebration, optimism and hope. Above all else, we want to ensure that the games inspire our young people. Sport has the ability to motivate and enthuse young people in a way that is almost magical: the thrill of winning that race, the excitement of achieving things that young minds and bodies never thought possible, or simply the sense of joy from being part of a team. Those are things that too many children in our country lack and too many never experience. Many children could benefit hugely from the power of sport.
Conservative Members hope that, above all, we can use the games to inspire a new generation to run faster, leap further, reach higher: to believe that they can achieve their goals if they only dare to try. The power to ignite a spark in our country's young that will cause them to put down the video game or the iPod and take part in a sport could do more to deal with obesity than a million pages of instructions from the desk of an education Minister.
We can learn a great deal from this. Moments like this can unite nations and inspire us to see the power of the Olympic games to rouse people in a common and optimistic purpose. Today is indeed a great day, and I am sure that the London Olympics in 2012 will be truly the greatest sporting event in the world.
I thank the right hon. Lady for what she has said. I speak for all Labour Members when I say that I am delighted that so many people have contributed to
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the success of the games, but there is no doubt that the man who made the greatest difference of all is her noble Friend Lord Coe. We should all recognise that. According to reports that I have received from, among others, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in Singapore, one of the things that made the difference was the strength of Lord Coe's presentation, as the right hon. Lady pointed out.
The right hon. Lady asked a number of detailed questions, many of which willI hopebe answered when the Bill is published shortly. Lord Coe will chair the organising committee, and alongside that but separately there will be an Olympic delivery authority.
The right hon. Lady is right to say that the Bill ought to have extensive parliamentary scrutiny. That does not constitute churlishness about the success that we have achieved today, but accountability and scrutiny will be a way of ensuring that what we have promised British young peoplethe British people, indeed, and the worldwe will deliver, on budget and on time.
Sir Menzies Campbell (North-East Fife) (LD): I associate myself, and my right hon. and hon. Friends, with all that the Foreign Secretary said. I am not sure that I can match the lyricism of the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May). Perhaps I can content myself with saying that the Foreign Secretary and indeed the right hon. Lady were right to underline the part played by Lord Coe in ensuring that the games came to London.
The Foreign Secretary mentioned Craig Reedie, who, I believe, will retire this month, after 13 years as chairman of the British Olympic Association. He can hardly have expected to have a better basis on which to leave.
I truly believe, and hope the Foreign Secretary will accept, that the games have the capacity to leave an indelible legacy not just to London but to communities throughout the United Kingdom, and to our great sporting nation. As the Foreign Secretary pointed out, some of the events will be held outside Londonand where better to hold a football event than Hampden Park, a destination for occasional hopeful pilgrims from Scotland? I hope that it will not be thought unduly selfish to say that, if golf is introduced in 2012, as has been suggested, I can envisage St. Andrews providing a proper opportunity for it.
London is one of the world's most diverse cities, with more than 200 communities and more than 300 languages. That cultural richness will provide a proper context for a package of cultural events surrounding the games, and those events in turn will help to enrich the Olympic movement.
I greatly welcome the remarks of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. It is fair to say that he is probably the only Member of the House who has had personal experience of competing in the Olympics, as he did in 1964 in Tokyo, and as he did in the Commonwealth games two years later. He is right that with opportunities come great responsibilities, and I repeat the point that I made a moment ago about the need for us to ensure proper scrutiny of the measures.
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As we are handing out the compliments, I also want to underline my appreciation of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who has put in an astonishing amount of work, and of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who, with all his other duties, not least those in relation to the G8, took the time to go early to Singapore, to lobby hard, and to fly back through the night to be ready for Gleneagles. That is a tribute to him. The collective effort tipped the balance and ensured that we got those 54 vital votes.
Lyn Brown (West Ham) (Lab): I can honestly say that I do not believe that representing West Ham will get better than it feels today. I am finding it difficult to express how overjoyed I am and what this means to the people of my constituency in terms of the jobs, opportunities and regeneration that will be brought to the area. We are absolutely delighted, and Stratford is still partying as we speak. I expect that the party will continue for the next seven years or so.
Will my right hon. Friend please congratulate on our behalf all those who are not important enough to be mentioned here today but who have played a vital and pivotal role in bringing the bid to a successful conclusion? I refer to people across London and the country, in local, regional and national Government, and in our communities and schools, including the children who sent their thanks, hopes and dreams to the International Olympic Committee and who did so well in representing this country's hopes and desires. Can we also make sure that the regeneration of the Olympic city brings to the east end, the rest of London and the rest of the country the revitalisation that is needed?
Mr. Straw: I thank my hon. Friend. Representing that area certainly will get betterit happens to be an area that I know well, as she knows, as I was brought up not far from Stratford. That part of London has long deserved a break and will now get it at long last. She is right to say that there are many otherstoo many to namewho deserve credit. This was a dream and an idea that from almost a standing start two years ago suddenly took hold of the east end and the rest of the country. Now that we have won the contest, we must deliver. One of the reasons that we won was the lasting legacy of the bid. We call it regeneration, but it is actually about transformation of an area, and above all transformation for the people of the area.
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