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Man arrested in Sussex over Tottenham Hotspur London 2012 Olympic Stadium bid 'spying'
SPURS have been accused of spying on London 2012 officials during its bid for the Olympic Stadium – leading to an arrest this afternoon.
A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud in Sussex after police searched buildings in Sussex, Sutton, south west London and Westminster in relation to claims the club put Olympic Park Legacy Company board members under surveillance.
Chairwoman of the OPLC Baroness Ford told the London Assembly earlier today that all 14 members of the board had been spied on by Spurs.
She said: “My board were put under surveillance by Tottenham Hotspur and the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur felt confident enough to say in the Sunday Times several months ago that all 14 members of my board were put under surveillance. The Metropolitan police are now conducting an investigation into that surveillance.
“There has been all kinds of behaviour here that I could not have anticipated which, believe me, has not been pleasant in the last 12 months.”
Spurs have strongly denied the claims in a statement issued through their lawyers, saying they rejected the accusation “in the strongest possible terms”.
They added: “The club did not undertake, instruct or engage any party to conduct surveillance on any member of the OPLC Committee whatsoever and we consider the making of this baseless accusation to be wholly inappropriate and irresponsible.”
Detectives are now questioning the arrested man at a Sussex police station, as part of an investigation into “allegations by West Ham and the Olympic Park Legacy Company in respect of the unlawful obtaining of information”.
The east London club reported Spurs to police in August over claims that the Tottenham club used a private investigator to steal bank and telephone records of senior executives.
West Ham were handed the stadium in March after a bitter bidding process but after Spurs launched lengthy legal action against the Olympic Park Legacy Company, ministers decided to scrap the plan and decided it should remain public propety.
The stadium is still likely to be rented to a football team after the 2012 Games, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson saying earlier today that it would “almost certainly be West Ham”.
But in a twist last month, nearby Leyton Orient also applied to rent the venue after the Games.