London-only Government under fire

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The Government has been accused of missing an opportunity to promote Yorkshire businesses by holding every one of its global business summits in London.

UK Trade & Investment is hosting a series of high-profile events at the British Business Embassy at Lancaster House during the six weeks of the Olympic Games to showcase the best of British business to the world.

Writing on Twitter, Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: “17 UKTI events to sell UK business to the World... All in London? Hmmm.

“Got no problem at all with London being our capital, shop window and economic cheerleader. But surely some events can be held elsewhere.”

Asked if this was a missed opportunity to showcase the strengths of the North, he told the Yorkshire Post: “Yes of course you’d expect the lion’s share of such events to be in the host city, but it’s odd that all 17 UK ones are in London.”

A spokesman for UKTI insisted that “the whole country” is taking part in the British Business Embassy and British Business Club programme to maximise the economic benefits of the Olympics.

He said: “As well as the events in London, a wide-ranging programme of events is being hosted around the country, including in Yorkshire.

“Internationally, further events are being held by UKTI to promote trade opportunities with firms across the UK.

“We expect the British Business Embassy programme to help generate additional sales of £1bn for UK firms in the coming months and years.”

Yorkshire companies have won less than half of one per cent of all £6.9bn Olympic contracts.