Tessa Jowell has announced that elements of the Olympic Games scheduled to be held in London in 2012 will be outsourced to India or sold off to private equity companies.
In a statement to parliament Ms Jowell said that certain events might not be sufficiently profitable and that New Labour had a duty to blindly follow market forces.
So far no decision has been made as to which events will be offered to the private sector, but that has not prevented certain entrepreneurs from expressing an interest. Richard Branson issued the following statement: "The Olympics is a global brand and I am a global guy. I am sure that I can transform a unique occasion that used to celebrate the traditions of excellence and amateurism into something tawdry and money grabbing."
Simon Cowell has also expressed an interest. He told this website:"The idea of a global public voting for whom they thought ran the fastest is very exciting."
Opposition parties were swift to condemn this announcement. Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrat party said: "I used to be a sprinter for Scotland but now I am old and I do not know who I am." Lib Dem HQ distanced itself from his statement.
David Cameron, Conservative leader of an opposition, said: "If New Labour say this we will of course disagree and wait a couple of years before suggesting exactly the same policy."