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Olympic Games (Security)

Volume 548: debated on Monday 9 July 2012

The Government and everyone involved are focused on delivering a safe, secure and successful games. We are confident in our planning and are leaving nothing to chance in our aim to deliver games that London, the UK and the whole world can enjoy.

The Olympics are only 18 days away, but we learned over the weekend that G4S still needs to fill 9,000 security positions. Without those staff, security will surely be compromised. Will the Home Secretary therefore confirm that she has signed off G4S’s recruitment schedule? Will she also give a personal assurance to the House that those 9,000 security staff can be recruited, vetted and trained in the next 18 days?

As the hon. Gentleman may be aware, venue security is being delivered by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, G4S and the military. It is a huge operation to protect more than 100 different venues, and delivering it is a big challenge. The Home Office has put in place a number of assurance processes to ensure that we have effective and robust scrutiny of venue security planning. We have been testing our plans thoroughly and are confident that our partners will deliver a safe and secure games, but we are not complacent and will leave nothing to chance, so we will stay on the case.

The Home Secretary has not answered the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East (Gregg McClymont). First, will she confirm that she personally signed off the G4S recruitment schedule? Secondly, will these 9,000 people be recruited, trained and in place, and will they have gone through the proper security vetting, by the opening of the Olympic games?

The hon. Lady has missed one crucial point: the G4S contract is with LOCOG. The Home Office has a responsibility to test those plans and to provide assurance on them, which is exactly what it has been doing.