Cooper: May failed on G4S
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has hit out at Theresa May, accusing her of having "failed" when it comes to G4S staffing the Olympics.
Asking an Urgent Question in the House of Commons this afternoon, Ms Cooper called on the Home Secretary to explain whether any more troops or police officers would need to step in to bridge shortfalls from of G4S staff.
Ms May claimed that G4S had "repeatedly assured" the Government that they would be able to fulfil their contractual obligations, but that problems had only emerged in recent weeks, leading to troops being called in.
"G4S have failed to deliver their contractual obligation but we have the finest military personnel in the world, troops who are willing and able to provide a secure and safe Olympic games," she said.
The Home Secretary will appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee in September to give evidence on security at the Games, it emerged.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond earlier insisted troops brought in to help with security during the Games would receive an "appropriate" reward package.
Speaking at Defence Questions, Mr Hammond said the Government was “determined to ensure that our troops that are engaged in the Olympic project are properly looked after in terms of welfare".
This morning a Number 10 spokesman would not be drawn on whether more troops would be drafted to help with Olympics, but said: "We will face challenges."
G4S chief executive Nick Buckles is reportedly fighting for his job after the firm was embarrassed by the failure to provide enough security guards. The firm's newly-appointed chairman told the Financial Times the board would avoid "knee-jerk reactions" but declined to support Mr Buckles outright.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told ITV Daybreak the Government had been "monitoring" G4S’ actions.
"We have been monitoring it, they assured us right up until last week that they were going to be able to deliver the numbers that they were supposed to."
But Ian Hanson, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, said today: "What we’ve witnessed here is almost a collapse of the private element of security at the Olympics and we’ve got to ask, when is this going to end? It’s an absolute debacle."
"This is an almost collapse of the private element of the Olympics and we’ve got to ask when is this going to end? We’re finding yet again that police officers and the armed forces are having to fill the gaps.
"Police officers can’t simply not turn up for work and neither can soldiers. Those who presided over what is rapidly becoming a national disgrace should hang their heads in shame."