Ken Livingstone admits he only bid for 2012 Olympics to 'ensnare' taxpayer billions
Last night in London, he told a mayoral hustings that the event was just a way of extracting funding from central government to spend on re-developing the capital.
Mr Livingstone was speaking to an audience at St Martin in the Fields church in Trafalgar Square, where he revealed his plans to develop east London.
He said: "I didn't bid for the Olympics because I wanted three weeks of sport.
"I bid for the Olympics because it's the only way to get the billions of pounds out of the Government to develop the East End.
"It's exactly how I played it to ensnare the Government to put money into an area it has neglected for 30 years."
The Olympics will cost at least £9.3bn to stage in London and an influential group of MPs said earlier this week that it had “little confidence” the figure wouldn't increase.
The Public Accounts Committee said the original estimate of just over £4bn for the Games was “entirely unrealistic”.
Mr Livingstone's comments came a week ahead of polling day at an event organised by Christian groups, where the candidates were quizzed on issues of faith.