City Hall forced to plug Olympic ticket black hole after sponsorship bid fails

City Hall will now seek to reclaim the shortfall from London & Partners. Image: MayorWatch
City Hall has failed to raise sufficient private sector sponsorship to cover the costs of Olympic hospitality tickets provided to tourism agency London & Partners.

London & Partners used the tickets to entertain participants in its Business Hosting Programme, with the cost due to be met from sponsorship & private sector contributions.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson had previously promised no public money would be used to pay for the tickets.

However the City Hall says just £175,000 has been raised towards the £314,565 invoiced by LOCOG for the tickets, forcing it to make contingency plans in case no further sponsorship money can be raised.

A Mayoral Decision published online this week commits the GLA to paying the full cost of the tickets while seeking to reclaim the balance from London & Partners.

Mayor Johnson set up London & Partners Limited after decisions by his first term administration forced the capital’s previous tourism agency Visit London into administration.

Despite being set up by the Mayor and receiving substantial funding from City Hall, London & Partners is a private company which the Mayor has no day to day control. This meant City Hall was unable to instruct London & Partners to pay for the tickets and had to enter negotiations with the company.

The Mayoral Decision warned of financial risks to the Authority unless a “binding commitment [was] given by London & Partners to pay the balance” from any private sector contributions to its general budget.

London Assembly Members have previously expressed concern London & Partners’ management arrangements and the lack of Mayoral control.

City Hall says London & Partners have since agreed to make good the shortfall.