By Ben Simmons

The London Assembly has voiced condemnation of remarks uttered some 10 days go by Unite union leader Len McCluskey suggesting the 2012 Games should be seen as an opportunity to protest against the government.

In an interview with The Guardian on 28 February Mr McCluskey stated “I believe the unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting. If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that's exactly one that we should be looking at.”

A motion passed unanimously at yesterday's Assembly meeting rejected Mr McCluskey’s call to consider disrupting the Olympics.

"It beggars belief that Mr McCluskey would contemplate sabotaging the tremendous efforts that thousands of hard working Londoners have put into building fabulous stadiums to host the worlds greatest sporting events this summer,” said James Cleverly AM, who proposed the motion. “Beyond that sporting festival the Olympic and Paralympic Games are being used to help rejuvenate a part of London that has suffered the shadow of decline for far too long. Even if he’s not a sports fan surely the Unite leader should be supporting this great investment in public facilities and regeneration, not threatening to use them as a political football. If London is not open for business during the Games it will damage our economy for decades to come”

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who seconded the motion, added:
“The 2012 Games are a once in a generation opportunity to showcase London to the tens of thousands of extra visitors and billions of viewers who’ll watch the Olympic and Paralympic athletes striving for success. To jeopardise that golden opportunity to boost not only London’s image but also its future prosperity would be the height of irresponsibility and would ultimately hurt Mr McCluskey’s members most.”

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