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.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
News
Bey can do it: Beyoncé re-enacts Rosie the Riveter's pose
newsRosie the Riveter started out as an American wartime poster girl and has become a feminist pin-up. With Beyoncé channeling her look, Gillian Orr tells her story
Life and Style
Donna and Paul Wheatley at their wedding
healthShould emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit