The security firm G4S has ruled out a last-minute deal to guard Labour’s annual conference, leaving the party without security just weeks before the event is due to open in Liverpool.
The result of the Labour leadership contest is due to be announced on 24 September, just before the party’s annual conference, but without security in place neither event can go ahead.
The party is no closer to clinching a deal to provide security for the conference, with the event facing cancellation if no contract is made. G4S, which had been subject to a Labour boycott, has said it is now too late to do a deal.
Last year the party’s national executive committee (NEC) voted to boycott G4S but the GMB union has threatened to stage a picket if Labour contracts an alternative provider, Showsec, which does not recognise trade unions. Showsec was the only provider to have bid for the contract.
G4S has now said it will not step in to provide security, even if the party’s executive drops its boycott of the company.
Eric Alexander, managing director for G4S events, said the company would usually start planning for such a large and complex event up to a year in advance. “Safety for delegates and our staff is our priority and at this late stage and with our teams committed elsewhere, we are not in a position to step in and provide security for the conference,” he said.
“Security officers need to be cleared and accredited to work, detailed risk assessments made, safety and security plans with the Home Office and local police forces drawn up and supporting logistics, such as security equipment and staff accommodation, put in place.Sadly, it rather sums up the state of the Labour Party.