US printer wins Olympic ticket deal
Tickets for the London 2012 Olympics are to be printed in the US.
Arkansas-based firm Weldon, Williams & Lick has won a contract to supply what is thought to be the UK's biggest single ticket requirement for a sporting event.
London 2012 said said the contract is for the "bulk of tickets" but could not say how many would be included in the order.
It means the consignment will be air freighted 4,500 miles from Arkansas.
Approximately 8.8 million tickets for the Olympics and two million for the Paralympics have gone on sale to the public in Britain in the past year.
Lawrence Webb, Ukip's candidate for London mayor, described the awarding of the contract as "a disgrace", adding: "This is a kick in the guts to British firms who would have been desperate to secure such a lucrative contract but it looks like they did not even get the opportunity to bid.
"There seems to be a track record in this country of not putting British businesses first. We have seen it with Bombardier in Derby and now we are seeing it with the London Olympics where an American company gets the contract to print tickets. It is a disgrace."
A London 2012 spokesman said: "The contract to print and fulfil the bulk of tickets for London 2012 was awarded following a thorough, competitive and open procurement process.
"The company which won the bid has worked on several previous Games, met all of our criteria around security, budget and scale and has specialist systems in place to personalise, print and package tickets on the scale we require."