The Labour Party had stated that it would boycott G4S due to its association with prisons for Palestinian political prisoners in Israel. This decision was taken after the party voted to stay away from the security company. As a result, Labour did not approach the private security contractor to provide security for its annual conference to be held at Liverpool in September.
After being unable to find a security provider, the Labour Party was forced to get in touch with G4S to police the event. However, sources claim that the security company has not accepted this last-minute request.
G4S has been policing the annual Labour conference for the last 20 years, but decided not to do so this year. The reasons for this were the short notice and previous instances where conference attendees’ behaviour with the staff had not been very pleasant.
G4S Managing Director of Events Eric Alexander stated that Labour’s annual conference was a large event that required advance planning. The security personnel for the event would need clearance and have to be assessed for risk, and the security plans would have to be shared with the local police and the Home Office. Considering the arrangements that need to be made, it was impossible for G4S to provide the security.
Alexander expressed his disappointment at not being able to police the conference. He added that the safety of the delegates as well as G4S was the main priority, but at this point, G4S security teams were deployed elsewhere.
After being rejected by G4S, the Labour Party does not have a security provider, and this could result in the cancellation of the conference. The party may have to ask the police to help out, and this could prove to be extremely expensive.
The only other private security contractor that has come forward to police the event is Showsec. However, GMB stated that it would protest at the conference if Showsec is selected, as the organisation has not taken steps to recognise the GMB union.