First the pageant fiasco, now minibus carrying CPUK staff overturns on M40

Driver is arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after crash leaves 15 stewards in hospital

The security company at the centre of a row about its treatment of unpaid workers was facing fresh questions last night after a minibus carrying 15 of its stewards overturned on a motorway and its driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Close Protection UK Ltd, which apologised last week after unpaid stewards for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations were forced to sleep under London Bridge, confirmed that all the people on board the vehicle were its employees and that at least one man remained in hospital with an open fracture of the hand. The minibus, which was taking the group to Weymouth, overturned on the M40 near the Oxfordshire- Warwickshire border at about 3.15pm on Saturday, forcing the closure of the motorway while ambulances ferried all 16 CPUK workers to six different hospitals. The bus, the only vehicle involved, came to rest on its side.

Thames Valley Police said the driver, understood to be in his early 30s, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and document offences. He was released on bail. It is understood that police are trying to establish whether the man held the correct classification on his licence to drive a minibus commercially. The collision and arrest of a CPUK employee will cause fresh difficulties for the Wigan-based company, which blamed a "logistics problem" for the incident which led to staff on work experience being left under London Bridge prior to their shift at the Jubilee river pageant. The company defended its record, pointing out that other stewards had praised its training.

The Independent revealed at the weekend that Molly Prince, founder of CPUK, has a conviction for perverting the course of justice in relation to an assault by two men on a man in Huddersfield in 1994. Ms Prince has said that she now regrets entering a guilty plea on the advice of her lawyer.

Lord Prescott said yesterday he would be writing to Olympics organisers to ask what due diligence was carried out on CPUK before it was awarded a contract, reportedly worth £850,000, to provide fire marshals for the Games.

Ms Prince last night said it had been reported to her that the minibus driver had obtained the relevant driving qualification in 1997, but she was awaiting confirmation from the firm's records. Two men involved in the crash suffered serious injuries while others were "very shook up, battered and bruised".

In a statement to The Independent, released through publicist Max Clifford, Ms Prince said: "Fortunately the motorway was quiet yesterday and no other vehicles were involved. The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. I am awaiting details of full incident reports to be collated. My action immediately on receipt of the news was to deploy three cars to the different hospitals to ensure the welfare of my staff, and ensure safe passage home."

The seriousness of the motorway crash had initially been unclear, she said. "When we heard there had been an incident, we had no idea of the severity... Once the extent of the accident was explained and understood, there was absolutely no question of any of [the stewards] continuing to their event."

CPUK added that procedures put in place after the Jubilee pageant meant it had enough time to send a second team of stewards.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss