Inside Lines: Why Hoey may hold key to the doors of Olympic stadium

The former sports minister Kate Hoey is emerging as a key figure in the pitched battle over the future of the 2012 Olympic stadium, a game of two halves now into extra-time with the possibility of penalties.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company, currently pondering the respective bids of Tottenham and West Ham, have delayed naming their preferred choice until next week at the earliest and it must then be approved – or vetoed – before 31 March by London's mayor, Boris Johnson. Tory Bojo relies heavily for guidance on sports issues on Hoey, the Labour MP for Vauxhall whom he controversially appointed as London's sports commissioner. Hoey will tell himshe is very much in favour of the Hammers plan, which would include the retention of the athletics track.

She says: "For me this is about a genuine grass-roots community legacy. Tottenham have yet to show publicly how their proposal would bring any real benefit to the people of Newham – or, for that matter, the people of London. I want to see the stadium and the park alive with activity seven days a week and 365 days a year and I have been impressed with how thorough West Ham's plans are in this regard. More importantly, I want to know that the anchor tenants understand their responsibility to bring real opportunity to local people and a real sporting legacy to the entire city. From what I have seen so far, West Ham are the only applicant capable of delivering this to Londoners."

Her view is a timely boost for West Ham, with the skilfully orchestrated Spurs bid having gained ground by revealing a visionary blueprint to upgrade Crystal Palace as a world-class athletics hub, incorporating a warm-up track and all-weather hockey pitch. My information is that Legacy Company members are divided, and that the Government will waive the right to intervene, believing it to be a London issue that should finally be judged by Johnson.

Football's helping hand

It has not been the most savoury week for football so it is good to highlight a couple of developments which indicate that the game hasn't totally sold its soul.

Tottenham are making their elite training facilities at Chigwell regularly available to the GB cerebral palsy team in the run-up to the Paralympics, and tomorrow week the Premier League will host an event on behalf of the Special Olympics to support the growth of the sport among those with learning disabilities.

Fallen out of Sky

The Sky may have fallen in on the sexist piggery of Andy Gray and Richard Keys but the chauvinist chums are set to team up rather profitably again in front of the cameras of the 19-channel sports station Al Jazeera.

Keys is a close friend of Jonathan Whitehead, the ex-Sky man now a top executive at the Qatar-backed outfit, and has already flown to Doha for talks. We hear the gruesome twosome may not be the last to leave the Sky departure lounge, which last year also saw the exit of boxing producer Chris Brown over allegations of bullying.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent