The Greater London Authority (GLA) has denied that it agreed to repay Visit London’s pension scheme deficit after the tourist body went into administration on 1 April 2011.
London and Partners, the organisation that has taken on the activities of Visit London, has stated it has no responsibility for the pension liabilities.
Visit London’s pension scheme had been part of a larger scheme run by the British Tourist Board.
A spokesperson for London and Partners said: “Following the comprehensive spending review, the government did not make funds available to London for international promotion.
“The Mayor has made these funds available from the GLA budget to support the creation of a new single promotional agency ‘London and Partners’ which brings together the activities of Visit London, Think London and Study London.
“The creation of London and Partners safeguards 110 jobs focused on promoting London as a destination for tourism, inward investment and higher education. All eligible Visit London and Think London staff transferred to London and Partners on 1 April.
“Due to liabilities relating to Visit London’s pension scheme, which London and Partners could not take on, Visit London has entered into administration. London and Partners cannot speak for Visit London and Think London or any other body for that matter about their financial status.
“The British Tourist Board’s pension trustees are in discussion with The Pensions Regulator. This is not a matter for London and Partners, it has no responsibility for Visit London’s liability.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “We are pleased we have managed to create a new agency that will enable London to project itself to the world more effectively than ever before.
“We are also pleased to have secured the funds to maintain most of the jobs. With the winding down of any agency there are obviously difficult legal and contractual issues, for which professionals have been hired to resolve.”
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