Anger over torch bearers from sponsors

Former Newbury Mayor Gillian Durrant had this letter printed in The Times(£) on 19th June:

Sir,
In common with many British people I was inspired to nominate someone I believed worthy of being an Olympic torchbearer – a local teenager who has overcome her disabilities to raise money for charity. She was so excited to be shortlisted; she told me it would give her the impetus to do her “run” using her prosthetic leg, something she has been struggling to achieve for four years.

We were disappointed when she wasn’t chosen, but now I know that a large number of places were reserved for sponsors (Richard Morrison, times modern, June 15) I am angry with the organisers for giving false hope to so many.

GILLIAN DURRANT
Newbury, Berks

Richard Morrison’s piece on 15th June(£) said:

The sponsors, it now transpires, have also fixed it so that many of their own executives are included among the 8,000 people (supposedly all sporting heroes or pillars of local communities) chosen to carry the Olympic Torch round the country.

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