Nick Buckles, G4S Boss, Appears Before MPs To Account For Olympics Security Staffing Failures

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Nick Buckles' job is on the line after failing to supply thousands of Olympics security staff | PA/Getty

The boss of G4S Nick Buckles is appearing before MPs on the Home Affairs committee to explain how his company failed to fulfill on its contract to provide thousands of staff to secure the Olympic Games, due to start in 10 days time.

Buckles - whose job is on the line after G4S found it had a gap of more than three thousand Olympics security staff - will have to account for why so many staff have simply failed to turn up, causing the Army to be deployed to plug the gap.

The Home Secretary Theresa May had to appear before the Commons on Monday to explain why the government had not been told of the looming staff crisis, amid allegations that ministers in the Home Office had become aware of a possible problem as long as three months ago.

Live updates of the key points of Buckles' evidence will appear here.

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Speaking on Sky News Jeremy Hunt was challenged about the £57m management fee.

Hunt said there were "penalty clauses" and "they have accepted that they messed this up, that we have contingency plans and they will pick up the cost for that."

Hunt says: "We need G4S to do as well as they can," and won't comment on whether Buckles should keep his job.

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Buckles says it's just a question of working out how the bonus is allocated to the military personnel, "particularly those who have come off leave."

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"We have managed the contract and we have managed on the ground," insists Buckles, before admitting that he doesn't know what the management fee actually is.

Then lawyers reveal that it will be £57m. "We still expect to deliver a significant number of staff," says Buckles.

"I find that astonishing," says Vaz.

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Tory MP Mark Reckless puts it to Buckles that staff were not kept informed about how their recruitment process was going, "There will be instances of that, I can't deny it," he replies.

"Overall this will be part of our review," says Buckles.

MPs suggest this lack of communication with staff could be why so many aren't turning up.

"Could be" says Buckles, then qualifies: "It clearly is in a number of cases, I just don't know how many"

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Keith Vaz says MPs understand that the Olympics is a rare event.

Buckles: "Clearly we regret signing the contract but we've got to get on with delivering it."

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...so where have they gone?

Labour MP Alun Michael says the terms of employment (no pay for training in some circumstances, for example) suggests they were "exploiting people and paying the minimum".

Buckles says "we believe this is the right way to run this event,"

Michael says: "Doesn't look like that now, does it?"

Buckles: "No it doesn't"

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It seems as though that rate has gone to about 85% so far...

"our problem at the moment is shortage of staff," says Buckles. You think??

Buckles is told off by Keith Vaz for not answering James Clappison's questions. He wants to know is it likely that there will be a major staffing crisis on the first day of the Olympics.

He says: "Clearly that shortage is going to manifest itself on this day forward until the Games."

Vaz says does this mean they need more support on standby?

Buckles: "I don't believe so at the moment, we believe we can cover all venues with support from the police and the military"

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Buckles was on holiday in the US when he found out on the 3rd of July that there was a massive staffing crisis at the Olympics brewing.

He says staff "worked tirelessly" to get the contract back on track after the 3rd of July

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Lorraine Fullbrook is trying to grasp why it was that people were contracted to work but are not turning up.

"The whole pipeline process of keeping introducing applications" appears to be the only contingency to stop it all falling apart when people dropped off. And it didn't work.

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Buckles says that the Olympics was never going to make G4S a huge amount of money, they took it for reputational reasons.

When accused of cutting corners because the profit margin was low, Buckles then says G4S felt they were the only company who could do the job.

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Keith Vaz says Ian Horseman-Sewell "must have known" that there was a major staffing gap on the 6th of July.

Did he know that he could not have delivered the Olympics on the 6th of July? Ian Horseman-Sewell says he sincerely believed that they would have the numbers.

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This report from our Sports Reporter Sam Luckhurst shows how a fraction of the expected staff have turned up at a key cycling venue...

Is it all falling apart?

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Buckles acknowledges that the reputation of G4S is "in tatters" and says he cannot disagree with claims by MPs that their handling of the Olympics staffing is a "humiliating shambles"

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Buckles suggests Olympics delivery board only asked if they were ready on the 3rd of July - it then took G4S eight days to work out they were not ready.

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Ian Horseman-Sewell acknowledges the firm can't cope with two large events.

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Keith Vaz puts it to Vaz that Theresa May only knew about the staffing crisis last Wednesday.

Buckles says he was told by his chief operating officer that there were problems on the 3rd of July, and that problems with the firm's scheduling system had contributed to the problem.

Vaz says this is "astonishing".

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Nick Buckles says that his own job is his "third priority", after sorting out the crisis of staffing and then restoring G4S' reputation.

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