London needs a "proper convention centre"

UK - London Mayor Boris Johnson has told the London Book Fair that London needs a "proper convention centre" to complement the capital's exhibition venues.

Speaking to visitors on the last day of the Reed Exhibitions fair, held each year at Earls Court, Johnson said events such as the London Book Fair are of "great importance" to London.

"One of the things we’re looking at, as I'm sure you can all imagine, is the possibility of having a proper convention centre here in London as well," he said. "Clearly, exhibition centres such as this draw a great deal of revenue and business to the city."

Mayor Johnson, previously a Conservative MP, hailed the cost-effectiveness of hosting large international events such as the London Book Fair in the capital.

"I would point out to anyone who's thinking of holding an exhibition that London has never represented such sensational value," he said. "Thanks to the devaluation of sterling by the Government, the Big Mac is now cheaper in London than in any other capital including Brazil and, I think, Ukraine."

The London Book Fair attracted 1,613 exhibitors this year, 60 per cent of those were international; a figure up from last year.