Wembley problems still not resolved, says Smith
Tuesday 21 December 1999
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport came under renewed pressure over the Wembley proposals, and he confirmed that Twickenham, the home of English rugby, was being considered as an alternative venue for future athletics competitions.
Mr Smith, who will announce details of the project's future later this week, said "very detailed work" had been underway since the original plans were rejected on 1 December.
"Although many of the issues have been resolved, concerns remain about the quality of the sightlines, the cost and time involved in reconfiguring the stadium for athletics and the long term value for money involved.
"All parties are now working closely together towards finding the best possible solution both for football and for international athletics," he told MPs during question time.
But Peter Ainsworth, the shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, warned that Mr Smith's "dithering" had jeopardised England's 2006 World Cup bid. "In the light of the almost unbelievable shambles surrounding this project what assessment have you made of your own credibility as Secretary of State?
"Every day that goes past represents another blow to our bids for the World Cup, the World Athletics Championships and a future Olympic games."
The original design for the new National Stadium was deemed unsuitable to host the Olympics. The design was also thought unlikely to provide an appropriate home for the World Athletics Championships which Britain hoped to host in 2005.
Mr Smith added: "Twickenham is indeed a potential option which is being considered as an alternative venue for international athletics.
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...