Jeremy Hunt dismisses Mitt Romney's Olympic Games concerns

 

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney should watch tonight's Olympic opening ceremony to see Britain is ready to host the Games, the Culture Secretary said today.

Jeremy Hunt dismissed concerns raised by Mr Romney during an interview with an American TV network that there were "disconcerting" signs around the Games, and it was "hard to know just how well it will turn out".

The Republican presidential hopeful was forced to backtrack on his comments yesterday after discussions with David Cameron at 10 Downing Street and was later full of praise for London's preparations.

Speaking to ITV's Daybreak, Mr Hunt said: "The person I care about more is Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, who said London was the best prepared city he had ever seen.

"When we have the opening ceremony tonight and we tell the world that eight of the world's top 10 sports were either invented or codified in Britain - and only two in America - I hope Mr Romney is watching."

Mr Hunt said London 2012 had "brought out the best in everyone" and played down recent concerns about security and transport problems ahead of the Games.

He added: "The security and safety of the Games was never at risk because we always had a fantastic back up plan with the armed forces and the police, who stepped into the breach absolutely magnificently.

"A few weeks ago people were worried about the queues at Heathrow. How were so many people going to get into our busiest airport in the days running up to the Olympics?

"Actually, that's been the dog that didn't bark. Heathrow's gone incredibly smoothly.

"People were worried about the Games lanes and absolute gridlock. We've had a few tailbacks, here and there, but actually it's gone pretty smoothly.

"Overall this is a project where everyone has pulled together. This is the best of our country. We're showing the world that we can do these things really well. I think tonight will be the start of that."

PA

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