Conservative Diary

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Put Sir John Major in charge of a review of sports policy

By Tim Montgomerie
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What an unforgettable night. For years to come we'll be remembering Britain's golden day. The Olympics is turning into a golden moment for Britain as a whole. The world is looking at a nation which is more self-confident, more patriotic and more at peace with itself than some of us dared to imagine. What a contrast with last summer's riots. The backdrops to the sporting events, from historic Hampton Court to beautiful Weymouth, are showing Britain at its best. Despite all of the worries the organisational side has been close to perfect. Let's hope the final half of London 2012 is as good as the first.

London 2012 sold itself to the International Olympic Committee partly on the basis of delivering a long-lasting legacy. The second item on this morning's BBC news bulletins is a preview of a speech that British Olympic Committee chief Lord Moynihan will give later today in which he'll call for the Government to seize this opportunity to reinvest in British sport. Lord Coe also told the BBC that this moment shouldn't be wasted but a thorough review of the management of British sport should be put in place. On ConHome yesterday, Charlotte Leslie MP called for competition to become part of our national culture again. From the other side of the political aisle Allastair Campbell is on the move, attacking Michael Gove for squeezing spending on school sport.

Screen Shot 2012-08-05 at 09.04.33My advice to David Cameron would be to ask Sir John Major if he would oversee all of these calls for action. Sir John was the Prime Minister who twenty years ago set up the National Lottery and that Lottery's investment in British sport. Many politicians deserve credit for the Olympics but Sir John deserves more credit than any other for the investment in sport that has helped deliver the huge boost to national morale that we're currently enjoying. And don't just take my word for it - British rowing's David Tanner said as much yesterday, on BBC1. Sir John is the man to think about what to do next. Unlike an existing Coalition minister he will also be most likely to have the confidence of the sports comnmunity and opposition parties.


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