Labour has been left humiliated after being forced to ask a security company it had pledged to boycott to help police its annual conference – only to be rejected.
G4S, which has provided security at the event for 20 years, is understood to be concerned about staff safety after Labour voted for a boycott over its prison contracts and links to Israel.
It follows a warning from Len McCluskey, the Unite boss, that the conference could be cancelled unless a provider is found urgently.
Sources close to the company warned that the short notice it was given and previous incidents at the event, including staff being spat at and verbally abused, made it impossible for G4S to accept the offer.
It leaves the party without a security provider and facing the possibility of cancelling the conference or calling the police in to help at great expense, because of an ongoing row with the only other provider in the running, Showsec.
The GMB union has warned its members will picket the conference and stage a walkout if Showsec is awarded the contract because of a row over union recognition for its staff.
No other security firm has put forward a bid to police the conference in Liverpool, leading to fears it could be cancelled with just weeks to go.
Labour is understood to have approached G4S earlier this week and asked it to provide the security , an offer which the company turned down.
Labour bites the hands that feeds it, and then acts all surprised when there are repercussions. Just like Labour in New Zealand who shat down the throats of all it’s large donors, until 1) they left and 2) nobody else was going to take the risk.
What’s wrong with these people? And they want to run an economy? Make trade deals? Enact legislation?
The party voted to boycott G4S earlier this year and Jeremy Corbyn has been vocal in his dislike for the company, which has a number of contracts in Israel.
As a result, the party was forced to ask other firms to provide the security for conference but only Showsec made a formal bid and three others are understood to have refused.
Airport style scanners and security barriers are used to form a secure ring around the conference venue to provide safety for delegates and prevent the event becoming a terror target.
Earlier this month GMB, one of Labour’s biggest backers, warned Showsec could not provide security because it has not signed a formal recognition agreement with the union.
Brilliant. The union-friendly company is shunned because it also works in Israel, but the unions won’t allow a non-union-friendly company to take over because… scabs.
This truly is a farce.
– The Telegraph