Much of the £2.7bn contingency fund for the 2012 Olympics will have to be spent, the project’s most senior civil servant has warned. Financial Times

Jonathan Stephens, permanent secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, told MPs £500m of contingency had been allocated to the Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for building Olympic venues. That left £2.2bn, an amount the government said earlier this year would be 'locked away'.

But 'It is prudent and realistic to expect a significant amount of it to be spent on a complex and high-risk project of this sort,' Stephens told the Commons public accounts committee.