Cameron hits back after barbed Romney comments

Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Thursday that Britain would deliver a memorable Olympics after US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney backtracked on barbed comments he made about the London Games.

With excitement mounting on the eve of the opening ceremony, Prince William, his wife Catherine and Prince Harry welcomed the torch to Buckingham Palace where tens of thousands of spectators had gathered.

But Romney, in London to attend Friday's opening of the Games, said the preparations had been "disconcerting", pointing to the failure of a private security contractor to provide the number of guards it had promised.

The Republican candidate also wondered aloud whether the British public would get behind the first Games to be held here since 1948.

On the eve of the Olympics, Cameron said security "matters more than anything else", and said he was convinced the Games would prove that Britain could stage a world-class event.

Cameron also said he was sure Britons would get behind the Games despite an economic downturn -- and took an apparent swipe at Romney's past as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world," Cameron said.

"Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

Cameron said he would take personal responsibility for the security of the Games, which are guarded by Britain's biggest ever peacetime force.

Britain has deployed an additional 4,700 troops in recent days to make up the shortfall in guards supplied by giant contractor G4S, taking the total military deployment to 18,200.

Romney told NBC News on Wednesday that "the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials -- that obviously is not something which is encouraging".

It was "hard to know just how well it will turn out", he added.

But he struck a more diplomatic note after talks with Cameron later.

"I am very delighted with the prospects of a highly successful Olympic Games," Romney said.

"What I have seen shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organisation. I expect the Games to be highly successful."

The US team meanwhile seemed happy with the conditions in London.

"Our experience has been nothing but positive," said Scott Blackmun, US Olympic Committee chief executive officer.

"We're not seeing any indication of anything less than great enthusiasm from people on the street."

The rising excitement was displayed at Buckingham Palace where thousands cheered on charity worker Wai-Ming Lee as he picked up the torch under the gaze of Prince William.

Lee, 38, said the experience "was exhilarating and over too soon" and revealed that Prince William had joked to him "don't drop it".

However, spirits were later dampened when Great Britain's footballers conceded a late goal in their opening match of the Games against Senegal.

Craig Bellamy had put the hosts into an early lead, but Moussa Konate struck in the 82nd minute to ensure the spoils were shared.

Meanwhile, the Games was rocked by a doping scandal after Greece's world indoor high jump champion Dimitris Chondrokoukis was barred for failing a drugs test.

His coach and father Kyriakos Chondrokoukis said his son had tested positive for stanozolol, the steroid used by disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Meanwhile, Games organisers tried to downplay a mix-up which saw North Korea's women football team walk off the pitch in an embarrassing start to the competitive action at the Games.

The International Olympic Committee apologised to the North Korean delegation after its players were shown on giant screens next to South Korea's flag, at their opener against Colombia on Wednesday at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

IOC president Jacques Rogge described the incident as "most unfortunate".

"This was an honest mistake, honestly made," Cameron said."


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs drug convicts of execution
    Indonesia informs drug convicts of execution

    Indonesia said Saturday it had officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, prompting an appeal from United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to spare the prisoners and suspend the death penalty. A Frenchman also on death row for drug-related crimes was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where …

  • UN chief urges Indonesia to spare drug convicts from execution
    UN chief urges Indonesia to spare drug convicts from execution

    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Saturday to spare from impending execution a group of 10 death-row drug convicts, most of them foreigners. "The Secretary General appeals to the government of Indonesia to refrain from carrying out the execution, as announced, of 10 prisoners on death row for alleged drug-related crimes," a spokesman for Ban said. Earlier Saturday, Indonesia said it had officially notified eight foreign nationals convicted of drug crimes -- from …

  • AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys
    AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is adopting a wait and see approach amid reports that China will soon deploy seaplanes to further strengthen its maritime claims in the disputed Spratlys. Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, spokesman for the military and commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service, said they have yet to ascertain the real purpose behind China’s continuing aggressive moves in the region. “We will wait and see before coming up with an official stand,” Kakilala said when …

  • US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations
    US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot,” deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia “pivot” has already seen US Marines rotating through the …

  • Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions
    Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions

    Short of condemning China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, a senior US military official said Washington does not support any act of coercion and bullying. “We don’t stand for coercion, bullying and aggressiveness,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Mahoney, assistant US military director for  Phl-US Joint Balikatan Exercises 2015. At the sidelines of this year’s joint military exercises’ static aircraft display held at Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Mahoney told a media briefing that …

  • ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’
    ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’

    The proposed grant to the chief minister of the envisioned Bangsamoro region of operational control over police forces in the area is consistent with the Constitution, a senior administration lawmaker said yesterday. Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite made the statement to allay the fears of his colleagues that the proposal, contained in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), would violate the Charter. It is clear in the proposed BBL that the Bangsamoro police will be part …

  • Noy off to KL for Asean meet
    Noy off to KL for Asean meet

    President Aquino will arrive here this afternoon with Manila hopeful of support from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to achieve peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as well as economic prosperity and inclusive growth among the people in the region. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Jose Eduardo Malaya III said that with respect to the dramatic developments in the South China Sea, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had called for the early …

  • Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food
    Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food

    After months of preparation and hard work from both the government and private sectors, the future of food is finally here in the country’s capital. Madrid Fusión Manila opened its doors on Friday to an international delegation who eagerly awaited the discussions of some of the most renowned and revered names in the culinary world. Madrid Fusión Manila is a historic gastronomic event marked by talks and exhibitions that showcases Spain and the Philippines’ shared cultural heritage, as well as …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options