John Prescott will be writing to Olympic organisers Locog after it emerged the boss of a company which left unpaid workers stranded in the middle of the night during the diamond jubilee celebrations has a criminal background, The Huffington Post UK has learnt.
Following reports in The Observer that the founder of Close Protection UK (CPUK), Molly Prince, has a conviction for perverting the course of justice, the former Deputy Prime Minister told Huff Post UK there were serious questions about whether they are “a fit and proper company” to have a fire safety contract at the 2012 games.
"It beggars belief that Molly Prince and CPUK have been allowed by Locog to look after fire safety for the Olympic venues,” he said.
Prescott has called for an investigation into the Observer’s claims amid concerns Locog could be “potentially putting spectators’ lives at risk."
“Locog could be potentially putting spectators’ lives at risk for the sake of going for the cheapest bid. The public would much rather see trained fire officers on call then inexperienced and poorly trained young people," he said.
“I will be writing to Locog demanding they urgently explain what due diligence they did of CPUK. They must launch an immediate investigation into the Observer's claims.
“It would appear CPUK are not a fit and proper company to have this important contract."
The Labour peer previously wrote to home secretary Theresa May urging her to investigate Close Protection UK, after it emerged unpaid workers bussed into London for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations were left to sleep under London Bridge.
“I am deeply concerned that a private security firm is not only providing policing on the cheap but failing to show a duty of care to its staff and threatening to withdraw an opportunity to work at the Olympics as a means to coerce them to work unpaid,” he said last week.
According to The Guardian around 30 unemployed people and 50 people who had agreed to work on apprentice wages when they were picked up from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth last week and taken to London.
Having arrived in the capital around 2.40am, the jubilee workers were told to camp under London Bridge before being roused at 5.00am and handed stewarding roles along the banks of the Thames.
Forced to change outside in the rain, given no access to toilets and working a 14-hour-shift, the stewards told the paper that they'd been originally told they would be paid, only to be informed on the coach on Saturday that the Jubilee weekend was merely a trial for paid work at the Olympics.