Former London mayor Ken Livingstone 'turned down CBE'

Ken Livingstone in Singapore when London won the bid for the 2012 Games Ken Livingstone was part of the team that secured the bid for the 2012 Games

Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone has revealed he turned down a CBE in the New Years Honours.

Mr Livingstone, 67, said the accolade would have been for services to the Olympics but he did not believe politicians should get honours.

He worked alongside the then prime minister Tony Blair and Tessa Jowell MP to secure the 2012 Olympiad for London seven years ago.

Film director Danny Boyle is also thought to have turned down an honour.

'Best Olympics ever'

London's former mayor told listeners to his radio show on Saturday that he had been offered the chance to be appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Revealing that until now he had only told his wife, he said: "I was offered a CBE but I don't believe politicians should get honours.

"I was paid very good money to be the mayor of London and nothing beats the recognition you get when people of the city elect you in the first place."

Mr Livingstone, who held office from 2000 to 2008, was the figurehead for the capital when the right to stage the Games was won in 2005.

Fireworks at the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London Danny Boyle masterminded the £27m opening ceremony of the Games

Previously explaining his passion for winning the bid he said: "I didn't bid for the Olympics because I wanted three weeks of sport.

"I bid for the Olympics because it's the only way to get the billions of pounds out of the government to develop the east end."

Speaking on his show earlier he said: "The pleasure I get is seeing it all worked, we promised the IOC what would be the best Olympics ever and that's what they got and I just don't believe politicians should get all these gongs.

"Someone who has done vast amounts of work in voluntary sector I have no problems with all of that."

Boyle, who masterminded the £27m opening ceremony of the Games, which drew a UK TV audience of 27 million people, is thought to have been offered an honour in recognition of his services to Britain.

When asked if he would like to become "Sir Danny" during an interview on Radio 4's Front Row earlier in the year, Mr Boyle said: "I'm very proud to be an equal citizen and I think that's what the opening ceremony was actually about."

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