'All G4S penalties' to be activated
The Government will activate "all penalty clauses" in G4S's contract to cut the bill for the taxpayer in light of chaotic security arrangements, the sports minister has said.
Hugh Robertson also signalled that the firm's £57 million management fee would be targeted, but he dismissed calls for G4S boss Nick Buckles to resign immediately, saying the Olympics need "stability".
Asked at a press conference what money could be recouped from G4S, Mr Robertson said: "We are working through that at the moment. But all the penalty clauses that are in the contract will be activated."
Asked whether Mr Buckles should resign, Mr Robertson told the press conference in Westminster: "The important thing is that we deliver a safe and secure Games, and G4S remain a key partner in that, so I want stability at that firm, and delivery. I don't want resignations causing chaos.
"What happens to Mr Buckles afterwards is a matter for others in the post-Games environment. What is crucial now is that he and his organisation concentrate absolutely on delivering a safe and secure Olympics. I have confidence in their ability to do so."
His comments came amid reports that a request may be made on Thursday for additional troops to plug any further gaps in security if G4S fails to deliver the necessary number of guards.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said contingency plans are in place to provide more troops if needed, but added that no request has yet been received.
But there are reports that a decision will be taken on Thursday on whether to put 2,000 personnel "on notice to move", which would mean that they would act as a reserve force throughout the Olympics period and would not be available for other tasks.
Sky News quoted an unnamed Home Office source as saying: "The decision to put another 2,000 military personnel on notice to move will be taken tomorrow. This comes after very intrusive examination of G4S management and while we are confident that the recruitment targets will be met, it is prudent to make contingency plans of this kind."
A Home Office spokesman said: "We have not asked the military to deploy any more military personnel beyond the 3,500 already agreed."