David Mellor on new London concert hall: 'a power-play by Simon Rattle'

23 February 2015, 10:13 | Updated: 23 February 2015, 17:40

David Mellor has weighed in on the debate over whether London needs a new concert hall in a conversation with ex-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone on LBC.

Livingstone set out his stall by arguing that London already has its share of fine concert halls, saying, "I think we've got some pretty wonderful ones already."

Former culture secretary Mellor countered: "We've got some not-so wonderful ones but that doesn't mean we should replace them."

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Speaking to Livingstone for LBC, Mellor suggested that the notion of a new concert hall for London was part of a bargaining move by the outgoing conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle, who is strongly tipped to be returning to the UK to take the top job at the London Symphony Orchestra.

"This is all part of a power-play by Simon Rattle, who, because he's been the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, wants to come back to London to throw his weight around."

Mellor also suggested that if Rattle was so keen for London to have a new concert hall, then he should be raising the money himself as part of a possible role at the LSO.

"If Simon Rattle wants to come back - and Simon Rattle needs the London Symphony Orchestra as much as they need him - then he should come back. And if we wants to raise the money he can spend 10 or 20 years with the LSO raising the money, and good luck to him."