Boris says 'bollocks' to local press Olympics lock-out

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has described the limited local press pass allocation for London 2012 as ‘bollocks’– telling a London newspaper that if he is re-elected ‘you will have access to all areas”.

Last year Press Gazette revealed how Archant London’s Newham Recorder was the only local paper in London given a press pass by the British Olympic Association (BOA) for this year’s games, out of a total of 400 press accreditations up for grabs.

During a visit to Clapham Junction station last week Johnson ‘promised reporters covering the Games on behalf of people living in south London would have access to all areas if he was re-elected”, according to a report in Newsquest‘s Wandsworth Guardian.

The paper reports that since it began campaigning on the issue in September the Guardian newspapers series has secured just two passes – one for the tennis at Wimbledon and another for the cycle road race at Hampton Court.

Johnson told reporters: “You will have access to all areas if I am Mayor. Bollocks to numbers, we’ll sort you out.”

In November the Newspaper Society held a meeting with sports editors from the regional press to discuss the creation of a regional press pool to cover the London 2012 Olympics, but has so far declined to comment on details of the arrangement.

The chairman of the British Olympics Association Lord Moynihan has defended the allocation of press passes for next year’s games despite admitting that its guidelines made no mention whatsoever of the local press.

Press Gazette understands that so far the UK’s entire regional press industry has been allocated just a handful of passes to cover the games with the vast majority of the 400-plus press accreditations going to national titles. An additional 90 passes have been allocated to host agency Press Association.

  • To contact the Press Gazette newsdesk call 020 7936 6433 or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk

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