Coe plays down medal ceremony boos

Politicians should expect to be treated as "pantomime villains" and booed as they hand out medals at the Paralympics, Sebastian Coe says.

Chancellor George Osborne and Home Secretary Theresa May were subjected to a chorus of jeers by spectators at the Games this week.

The pair are among a select few to find themselves on the receiving end of abuse in the packed-out Olympic Stadium - normally packed with fans, who cheer on athletes of all abilities and nationalities.

But Lord Coe said it was common for political figures to become "the pantomime villain" and defended the decision to invite them to present medals.

He said: "There are 500 medal ceremonies, we require over 1,000 people, not just politicians, and from time to time, I know from my own personal experience, you do become the pantomime villain in politics.

"I don't think that we should read too much into that and I think it's really important that politicians have been seen supporting the two greatest sporting events in our lifetimes.

"Politicians are bold enough and brave enough to know that sometimes that is the landscape that they are in."

Labour leader Ed Miliband raised the issue of jeering in his questions to the Prime Minister and declared: "The Paralympic crowd spoke for Britain."

There was also more controversy in the Oscar Pistorius blades row amid fresh allegations from the South African team that athletes were breaking the rules by changing blades between races.

Craig Spence, of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said other coaches reacted with "shock", adding there was no evidence to support claims.