London SE1 website team

Livingstone: sack "prat" Hollick and let me run the South Bank

The Mayor of London this week intervened in the row over the future of the London Eye and called for the government to hand control of the wheel's landlords, the South Bank Centre, to City Hall.

The Mayor told a meeting of the London Assembly: "Now, with the bid from France to take it over and park it in the middle of Paris for their Olympic bid, it just shows what a complete prat Lord Hollick has become and how damaging he is to Britain's interests and he should go."

Mr Livingstone added that if the row over rent was not resolved soon, he would use his powers to ask the London Development Agency to issue a compulsory purchase order.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor told the Press Association that Livingstone was keen to see changes in the management of the South Bank Centre: "It is a resource for the whole city and should therefore be passed back to the control of London government. There should be a swift transfer of management of the South Bank to the Mayor."

Meanwhile SBC has insisted that there is "no likelihood" of the wheel being evicted from its Jubilee Gardens site.

In another twist to the saga, Paris 2012 bid chiefs have dismissed reports that the French capital might bid to sieze the Eye from London as "absolute nonsense" and "laughable".

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