Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tory donor 'Jamie Ritblat' snaps up Olympic Village at a knock-down price - and it's costing you £275m!

A property tycoon's company has bought half the Olympic Village at a knock-down price, months after making a £50,000 donation to the Conservatives.

Jamie Ritblat's firm Delancey purchased the site where the athletes will stay during the Games for £557million – an estimated loss of £275million to taxpayers.

The investment could net the firm enormous profits, experts say. It plans to let out most of the 1,400 homes.

Friends of 44-year-old Mr Ritblat say his firm's offer was the best on the table. They added that Olympic Village homes, which have no kitchens, require major refurbishment before they can be resold or rented out.

But cynics will question the timing of the deal, coming so soon after Delancey's substantial donation to the Tories. In a further twist, Mr Ritblat's father, property giant Sir John Ritblat, was chairman of the Conservative Party's Olympics Oversight Committee.

This was set up in 2007, while the Tories were in Opposition, to scrutinise London 2012 budgets.

The section of the Village involved has been sold for almost £300million less than the Olympic Delivery Authority spent building it using taxpayers' money. Read More