The company which became embroiled in the row over unpaid workers at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations may be investigated by the security industry watchdog over the issue, the Home Secretary has announced.
Close Protection UK (CPUK), which holds fire safety and security contracts for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, could face a fight to prove it remains fit to be one of the Government's approved security contractors after a week in which it emerged that the firm's boss, Molly Prince, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for perverting the course of justice.
The controversy, which was compounded when one of its drivers was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after a bus carrying 15 stewards overturned, started after CPUK was forced to apologise after it was alleged its stewards had to sleep under London Bridge while working for free ahead of the Queen's river pageant. In a letter to former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has written to CPUK over the case. A spokesman said a decision would be made on whether to launch a formal investigation into the company once it has had a chance to reply.
The news comes after Lord Prescott wrote to both Mrs May and the Games' organisers, Locog, demanding an inquiry. He said: "I believe the safety of spectators, staff and competitors is of the utmost importance and we need to be assured that CPUK can deliver this."
An SIA spokesman refused to comment on individual cases but said: "SIA policy is to make enquiries into all allegations we receive concerning non-conformance with ACS requirements."
Max Clifford, who is representing CPUK, said: "An ACS audit was carried out on June 6 and 7 by a lead British Standards Institution auditor. The audit score was 104, which puts CPUK in the top 10 per cent performing ACS companies for compliance."
The firm denies exploiting cheap labour at the Diamond Jubilee.