The Government has refuted claims that it intends to fund construction of a £100M 'Mega Mosque' on the edge of the London 2012 Olympic Park.
A petition against the mosque on the 10 Downing Street website that had received 278,703 by the time it closed on Wednesday. In response, the Government today stated that Newham Council, the local planning authority, has not received an application for such a structure.'In addition, there have been no approaches made to the Government in terms of seeking funding, despite the widespread unsubstantiated claim that up to £100 million of taxpayers' money is being spent on this project,' continues the statement.The petition also claimed that plans for the mosque had received backing from London mayor Ken Livingstone. The mayor's office this week rejected this claim.'There are not now, and have never been, any plans by the Mayor or Greater London Authority spend any public money on such mosque,' says the statement. 'Indeed, it would be illegal for the Mayor of London to do so. Suggestions of a link between plans for a mosque and the 2012 Olympic Games are equally untrue, as are suggestions of the enormous size of any planned mosque. 'All religious faiths have the equal right to construct places of worship, subject to the appropriate planning permissions. The particularly vicious nature of the campaign against a possible Muslim place of worship in East London should be condemned by all of those who support the long established right of freedom of religion in this country, and all the more so as it is based on information which has long been established to be factually untrue.'