Mon, 14 Nov 16:29:00 2011
Security forces could deploy ground-to-air missiles to protect the Olympic Games in London, the Defence Secretary has said.
Philip Hammond revealed the plans to Parliament when his predecessor Liam Fox asked him to confirm the level of “defence and deterrents” at the Games.
Mr Hammond said: “I can assure him that all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including – if the advice of the military is that it is required – appropriate ground-to-air defences.”
The remarks follow reports that the United States is planning to send a 1,000-strong force of its own, including 500 FBI agents.
It is thought Mr Fox would have been aware of the plans, and “planted” the question to allow Mr Hammond to explain the extent of British security in London.
In response to criticisms that cuts in funding will leave the Games vulnerable to terrorist attacks, a Home Office spokesman said: “Security planning is on track and funding has been protected.
“The government is committed to delivering a safe and secure Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy.
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) undertake detailed inspections of security preparations and have full confidence in our plans. The UK has a strong and close working relationship with the US, who have expressed similar confidence.”
Last week it was reported that elite SAS troops will have a base at the Games, and will use East London’s network of waterways to navigate the Olympic Park.