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No, Boris Johnson did not 'deliver the Olympics'

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21.06.2019

“Boris Johnson delivered the Olympics.” It is a line that is not so much creeping as shoehorning its way into the public debate over its next prime minister. It is one of Team Boris’s approved lines, when it sends ambitious Tory MPs into the TV and radio studios because Johnson is too conniving to appear himself.

On Thursday night, Kwasi Kwarteng was the latest to come out with it, this time on BBC Question Time. Anyone who knows anything about the delivery of the Olympics, and there are hundreds such people around, if not thousands, has the same reaction to this apparent truth. It is to laugh. Boris Johnson himself is among those people. I would be incredibly surprised if his own private reaction to the idea he “delivered the Olympics” would be to anything but chuckle to himself.

I was The Independent’s Olympics News Correspondent in the year running up to the 2012 games. I did little else but cover the delivery of the Olympics. The Olympics were, for all intents and purposes, a government department, albeit one with a slightly complicated structure. It was a department in which Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, had no executive role whatsoever.

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The question of “Who delivered the Olympics” is also complicated. But none of its possible answers are Boris Johnson.

If the question is, who was responsible for bringing the Olympics to London? The answer to that is threefold. One, the........

© Independent