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24 Nov 2015

Express & Star (UK)

Labour Party votes to end G4S contract over human rights concern

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Labour's executive has voted to boycott G4S, the firm which has been providing security at the party's conferences for more than a decade...G4S has been involved in controversy over its links to Israel....Jennie Formby of Unite, who was at the NEC meeting, said: "The issue of G4S was raised during an agenda item reviewing the annual party conference. It was therefore the appropriate opportunity for the NEC to discuss the use of G4S to provide security for future conferences. More than half the NEC was present for this discussion. "The decision to end the security contract with G4S was taken because of concerns that this company has acted unethically and has been found to be in breach of the human rights obligations of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies."The Labour Party was founded to advance justice and fairness at home and abroad. Members from across the party had consistently expressed concerns that G4S's conduct is not consistent with those fundamental values, and so the NEC responded accordingly."...Labour MP Joan Ryan, who chairs Labour Friends of Israel, said: "The Labour Party has a long-standing policy of oppositions to boycotts which the NEC's decision directly contravenes. "I am writing to the party's general secretary, Iain McNicol, today to express my deep concern at this development, which I hope will now be urgently reviewed. "As I have consistently argued, boycotts are both wrong in principle by seeking to delegitimise Israel and do nothing to further the cause of peace, foster coexistence or assist the achievement of a two-state solution." Jennie Formby added: "This decision is not a boycott of G4S. It is a decision not to use a company that has been found to be in breach of international human rights guidelines, and therefore out of line with Labour's values."