September 22 - Alexandra Palace should be considered as a venue for badminton, boxing or rhythmic gymnastics during the London 2012 Olympics, it has been claimed by the Liberal Democrats in Haringey.

They have written to Olympic officials asking the historic venue, which was built in 1873, to be considered.

Councillors have made their move as a row has erupted between London 2012 and the capital's Mayor Boris Johnson over where to house the three sports.

London 2012 had wanted to move boxing from the ExCel Arena in Victoria Dock to Wembley Arena to make room for badminton and rhythmic gymnastics.

But that proposal was defeated after the international governing body, supported by the British Olympic Association, protested.

London 2012 are now trying to get badminton and rhythmic gymnastics to move to Wembley to save the cost of having to build a temporary £40 million venue in Greenwich that would be demolished after Games.

David Winskill, the Lib Dem spokesman for Culture and Sport, said: “Residents in Haringey are getting little if any direct benefit from the Olympics at the moment.

“News that badminton, boxing or gymnastics events need a new home is a fantastic opportunity for the council to be proactive and ambitious.

“This would be a great opportunity for the Borough to be put on the Olympic map and for Alexandra Palace to get some well overdue investment.”

Designed to be "The People’s Palace" and later nicknamed - allegedly by singer Gracie Fields - Ally Pally, in 1936 it became the headquarters of the world's first regular public "high definition" television service, operated by the BBC.

The Alexandra Palace television station was located on the site and its iconic radio tower is still in use.

Winskill has been joined by Lib Dem Leader Councillor Robert Gorrie, and Lynne Featherstone, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, and they have written a joint letter to London 2012 urging them to consider the Palace as a venue.

They claim that the journey from the the Olympic Village to Stratford would take less than half-an-hour.

But Councillors admitted the Palace would need significant investment to bring it up to scratch for the Games, which would seem to rule it out.

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