Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has announced that he has drawn up plans to take control of the London Eye following a dispute over rent with the South Bank Centre.
According to recent press reports the Eye faces eviction if it does not agree to a rent increase from £65,000 a year to £2.5million.
The Mayor claims that if the Eye and the landlord cannot reach agreement, he has powers to take control of the land through the London Development Agency.
Speaking to the London assembly yesterday, Livingstone said the loss of the Eye would be damaging to London and could play into the hands of the French.
“It may very well be, if matters can’t be resolved soon, we would have to move very quickly to a compulsory purchase of the London Eye,” he said. “Now, with the bid from France to take it over and park it in the middle of Paris for their Olympic bid, it shows just what a complete prat Lord Hollick has become and how damaging he is to Britain’s interests, and he should go.”
“I think this is an absolutely ridiculous rent demand, The simple way forward in all of this is for Lord Hollick and his colleagues to behave responsibly.”
The South Bank has denied the accuracy of the £2.5million press reports.