G4S has told Labour it is not in a position to “step in” and provide security at the party’s annual conference amid concerns the event could be cancelled.
There has been speculation that the conference, set to take place in Liverpool at the end of September, could be scrapped because of a row over security – stemming from the party’s decision to boycott G4S, which employs around 8,000 people in Israel.
Security giant G4S has done the job for more than 20 years but Labour chiefs have voted to boycott the company.
Meanwhile, the GMB trade union which represents security industry workers has claimed another potential security provider, Showsec, has refused to formally recognise the union to negotiate pay and conditions.
As a result GMB has urged Labour to find an alternative provider.
G4S is understood to have been approached by party officials this week.
But the company said it was unable to take on the job.
Eric Alexander, managing director for G4S Events (UK), said: “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.”
Labour sources are adamant the conference will go ahead and it is understood contract negotiations are ongoing.
A Labour spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on commercial arrangements.”