Romney causes stir in Britain

Thu, Jul 26, 2012, 01:00

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's high-profile overseas trip got off to a rocky start today when he was forced to clarify a comment seen as criticising London's handling of the Summer Olympics that he came to celebrate.

The Republican candidate ruffled British feathers ahead of his visit by appearing to suggest in a US television interview that London was not ready for the games, whose opening ceremony is held tomorrow.

"It's hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting," Mr Romney told NBC when asked to analyse London's handling of the Olympics.He cited what he said was the threat of a strike by immigration and customs officials.

"That obviously is not something which is encouraging."The comments were seized on by British media and prime minister David Cameron defended Britain's handling of the games, after he was forced to deploy extra troops to bolster security to cover a shortfall left by a private contractor.

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course, it is easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," Mr Cameron said during a news conference at the Olympic Park in London.

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