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August 11, 2016 1:18 pm

UK’s Labour Party May Be Forced to Cancel Conference Due to Boycott of Israel-Linked Security Firm

avatar by Lea Speyer

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The G4S logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Britain’s Labour Party may be forced to cancel its annual conference due to complications arising from its boycott of an Israeli-linked security firm, The Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, leaked emails to Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol revealed that the party failed to contract a new security company after canceling its agreement with G4S, which has sold equipment to Israeli prisons.

McNicol was warned by the Home Office and police that the conference, which is slated to begin on September 25, will be shut down if the services of a new security company are not secured beforehand.

Labour has apparently reached out to five different security companies, three of which have refused their services and one which withdrew its bid. The situation has become so dire, the report said, that Labour is considering reversing the G4S boycott.

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A Labour source told The Times that while a security firm has not yet been contracted, the party is “absolutely confident that arrangements for security will be in place and the conference will go ahead.”

Labour MP John Woodcock told the newspaper that the latest Labour controversy is “just another example of the ideologically purist leader’s team creating havoc for ordinary party members with their selectively and suspectly applied principles.”

“They have managed to screw up even the most basic and decent thing as providing security for us and risk making Labour a laughing stock,” he said.

Last year, Labour’s National Executive Committee voted to boycott G4S — the world’s largest security company — following objections by the anti-Israel Palestine Solidarity Campaign to the relationship with “Israeli prisons which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel.”

The news of Labour’s latest conundrum comes amid the backdrop of the party’s ongoing antisemitism scandal. As reported by The Algemeiner, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently prompted outcry from Britain’s Jewish community and political leaders, when he bestowed peerage on the controversial chief investigator of a recent antisemitism inquiry, which was condemned as a “whitewash.”

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