Boris Johnston breaks promise on free Olympics tickets for school children in London

Last November the Mayor of London announced that 125,000 schoolchildren in London would be given free tickets for the Olympic or Paralympic Games. That would have been enough to provide tickets for one in eight London children aged 10 to 18.

But, as reported in the Evening Standard, Lib Dem London Assembly member, Dee Doocey, has asked the Mayor how many tickets were actually allocated to children.  The answer came back: just 95,761 tickets. The remaining 30,000 or so tickets have been given to teachers to accompany them. 

That raises at least two questions:

Why did the Mayor overlook the fact that responsible adults would have to escort the children to the events? 

Even more puzzling, why are 30,000 teachers required to accompany 90,000 children, many of whom will be young adults? A ratio of 1 adult to 3 children does seem excessive.

That promise of 125,000 tickets for children has been repeated by Boris on a number of occasions, not least in a video in which he is clearly heard to say “125,000 tickets going to London kids”.



* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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This entry was posted in London and News.


  • thats about one teacher for every 3 children – I wonder who is really benefiting from this freebie.

  • Richard Dean 5th Mar '12 - 1:28pm

    This could be a multi-edged sword! London is a dangerous place, and games venues are chaotic. One teacher to three young pupils could be argued to be a responsible approach. Voters with children know how difficult it is to control just a small number in a familiar shopping centre, let alone an unfamiliar olympic stadium. Few voters would be impressed by one to twenty, and many might refuse to let their kids go

  • Kirsten de Keyser 6th Mar '12 - 3:10pm

    Kids don’t vote, teachers do – go figure.

  • For goodness sake it is blatant broken promise by Boris Johnson.

    It was a long standing promise that it would be 125,000 London school children under this scheme . He promised it time and time again and even makes this claim in a video that is on the Greater London Authority website.

    If some teachers and supervisors are needed (for what are not entirely young children – some of which are actually young adults) that should of been made clear and publicised far earlier on. And leaving aside the fact that this information should have been clarified far earlier on, one teacher for three children or young adult ? ! That really is odd.

    I do find it hard to understand why some people are so keen to make excuses for Boris Johnson breaking such a specific claim as Mayor of Lonon?!

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