It’s not easy getting back into blogging again after our short holiday in the Galilee, especially with the constant surfeit of bad news. But a useful way to ease myself back in is by indulging in yet more schadenfreude at the expense of the British Labour Party.
Last week I reported that Labour had fired the G4S security firm over its former ties to Israel’s security forces and cancelled its contract to provide security at Labour’s upcoming national conference. I concluded my piece with the following:
I really truly hope that Labour will not be able to find another security company, and that their national convention will be cancelled. It’s the next best thing to having the entire party cancelled due to its endemic antisemitism
It looks like at least part of my wish might be coming true!
Having not found a replacement for G4S, Labour crawled back to G4S asking to rehire them again, but Labour were humiliated as G4S refused their request!
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.
Another security firm was not able to replace G4S because of union troubles:
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.
It should be noted at this stage Labour’s rejection of G4S on the grounds that it had ties to Israel amounts to a secondary boycott of Israel, something which is illegal at least in the United States if not in Britain.
G4S framed the refusal as “having other commitments”, but some of their comments ring hollow, particularly about their “positive experience” in the past, which does not gibe with the experiences mentioned above about their workers being insulted and spat on:
In a statement Eric Alexander, G4S’s managing director for events in the UK, told the Telegraph: “This is a large, complex event, which we would ordinarily plan up to a year in advance.
“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.
“Our team of more than 100 security staff has secured the Labour Party’s annual conference for over 20 years and the feedback from officials and the police on our work last year, as in the past, was extremely positive.
“Clearly we were disappointed not to continue such a successful working relationship. 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.”
In a late update we learn that Labour have now hired OCS to provide security. I admit I’m disappointed. I was hoping the conference would be cancelled entirely. Let’s just hope that the results of the Labour leadership vote will bring about Jeremy Corbyn’s ouster.