Boris blasts ‘dismal’ MPs for refusing to beam Olympic heroes onto Parliament
Boris Johnson last night denounced ‘dismal’ MPs for refusing to project giant images of British Olympic and Paralympic heroes on to the Houses of Parliament.
The MPs threw out a request by London 2012 chiefs to beam stars such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, tennis player Andy Murray and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds on to the Palace of Westminster next summer.
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What the Houses of Parliament would look like with Olympic images projected onto the side of the building
One claimed that it was ‘demeaning’.
Cheek: A naked Gail Porter was beamed on to the side of the Palace of Westminster for a magazine stunt in 1999
But the decision by the Commons Administration Committee not to allow the displays during the Games was attacked as ‘arrogant and unpatriotic’ by one MP.
And London Mayor Mr Johnson said: ‘It is a dismal decision. This paperclips committee should be leaping at the chance to showcase the finest human specimens on arguably the most stunning city backdrop in the world.
Parliament won’t even be sitting. I urge sensible MPs who are proud of this city and eager to stage a fantastic Olympics to demand a rethink.’
In 1999, a 60ft image of naked TV presenter Gail Porter was projected on to the same side of Parliament in an unofficial stunt to promote FHM magazine.
Olympic organisers wanted ‘iconic spectaculars’ – action photographs of the athletes – displayed on Parliament during the Games, and a separate display of the Olympic rings on Big Ben on New Year’s Eve. It would not have cost the parliamentary authorities a penny.
But Tory committee member Sarah Newton said the Olympic montage would ‘set a precedent’ and spark a flood of similar requests.
She is said to have ‘pulled a face’ when shown an illustration of the projections.
The proposal, which has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, was to be funded by Mr Johnson’s Greater London Authority. Apart from a few days, the images were to be displayed when MPs are on their summer recess.