The British Labour Party announced they are no longer going to be using G4S for their conference security. Rachel Diamond of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign believes this decision by the Labour Party, which now represents 330,000 members and many more supporters, sends a clear message: “political parties can stand up and act ethically and responsibly, and this can be at the centre of how politics works.”
According to reports, the Labour Party’s national executive committee passed the proposal to boycott the private security company that has provided its conference security in recent years by 12 votes to four, because it has links to what the Palestine Solidarity Campaign describes as “Israeli prisons which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel”.
It’s understood the decision took place on Tuesday evening after the Labour Party’s NEC meeting.
G4S is considered to be complicit in the ongoing occupation of Palestine, with many linking them to global violence, and questioning their involvement in other deals in the UK, in South Africa and around the world. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign calls Labour’s decision “a step in the direction of truly respecting human rights in all that we do politically”. They continue, “this decision is a challenge not just to G4S, but to all businesses. If you turn a blind eye to violations of human rights purely to make a profit, you’ll lose business.”
There has already been a backlash against Labour’s decision. Former Communities Secretary and Conservative special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Eric Pickles, condemned the decision. “The Labour Party’s boycott of G4S is stupid, pointless and damaging to British jobs. Labour seems to stumble from one fiasco another, engaging in gesture politics that ends up hitting British workers,” he said to the Jewish Chronicle.