Border strike cancelled
The Government has denied making concessions to prevent a strike from border staff tomorrow.
However confusion remains over claims from the PCS union that the Home Office had offered 800 new permanent jobs at Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports, along with 300 at passport control.
The department’s official website had been advertising 400 positions for administration officers, with a further 400 executive officers, though the Home Office now says they were only there by mistake and no concessions were made to the union.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said he “did not recognise” the figure, which led to the PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka calling on Mr Green to explain this “extraordinary” statement.
Mr Green told BBC News:
"I should say that the Government has made no concessions at all, there was a meeting yesterday at which the Home Office position was just restated. So I’m glad the union has taken the decision they have...
"At the moment there’s 319 vacancies in the passport service and what was said at the meeting was that of course we’re filling those vacancies. So it’s pretty clear the union leadership need some sort of fig leaf, but that’s what they’ve done.”
Mr Serwotka said the opposition by ministers and the media to his union's demands had been "completely and utterly unwarranted”.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls welcomed the announcement, saying "everybody will be pleased" the strike will not go ahead.
"We’ve said over the last week that a strike in these days was the wrong thing to do... I don’t know the details but it is good news and the Games now are the priority and let’s hope they’re a big success for Britain."
Meanwhile, South West Trains crew will join TFL and Home Office staff by working to rule during the Games. Peter Hendy, Transport for London Commissioner, said disruptions to rail services would be "minor".