By a Newsnet reporter

It has emerged that a former Labour Government Minister and former Defence Secretary, is a Director in the firm responsible for the Olympic Games security shambles.

Former Scottish Labour MP, and now a Labour peer, John Reid was recruited by Olympic fiasco company G4S in 2008 when he took up a role as consultant to the controversial security firm.

The Scottish Labour politician, who earned the title Baron Reid of Cardowan after stepping down as an MP after Labour lost the 2010 general election, was appointed a consultant to G4S in December 2008 whilst still a Labour MP.

Dr Reid, the then MP for Airdrie and Shotts, had held several cabinet posts including Home Secretary and Minister for armed forces, was believed to have been paid £50,000 per year for the part time role, he became G4S director in July 2010.

Three months after recruiting the Labour MP, G4S were controversially awarded a four-year contract to supply private security guards for around 200 MoD and military sites across Britain.

The deal, thought to be worth tens of millions of pounds, resulted in criticism from opposition MPs who called it “totally inappropriate”.

G4S had been formed after a merger between security firms Group 4 and Securicor. It has also been reported that Securicor had extensive contracts with the Home Office during Dr Reid’s spell at Whitehall.

At the time of Reid’s appointment with G4S, the firm were already operating in Iraq and Afghanistan after winning a major MoD contract to provide training to British Army units. The former Defence Secretary claimed in 2006 that British Soldiers would complete their term in Afghanistan without a shot being fired.

G4S, which by the time of Dr Reid’s appointment had purchased another firm ArmorGroup – itself also operating in Iraq, also has a specialist offshoot business which offers the services of former British Gurkha soldiers to private contractors.

Speaking in 2009, SNP MP Angus Robertson described Dr Reid’s appointment to G4S as “totally inappropriate”.

He said: “Entering the war in Iraq was the worst UK foreign policy decision in living memory. Our brave troops have had to pay the price of an illegal conflict and now it appears former Defence Secretaries are reaping personal financial rewards.”

Dr Reid was not the only controversial Whitehall figure to appear on the G4S payroll. The firm also hired Dr Peter Collecott, former director of corporate affairs at the Foreign Office, and David Gould, the Ministry of Defence’s former chief operating officer in charge of defence equipment.

The firm also recruited Tom Wheatley, who spent 16 years in the English Prison Service and was a former Chief Executive of National Offender Management Service.

Mr Wheatley, once critical of privately run prisons, claimed private security firms had “brought little innovation to the management of custody”. He added that the only gains from their involvement had come from “using fewer staff, paying lower wages, and providing less employment protection for staff.”

Shortly after joining G4S, he helped the company win a Lincolnshire police contract.

The security firm has faced claims of poor conditions and pay for staff.


2012-07-18 08:17

Not only are Labour politicians incompetent in Government, they appear to be incompetent in the private sector as well, except for lining their own pockets of course…
2012-07-18 10:17

Why criticise Labour politicians only when the whole spectrum of elected politicians are venal? It’s expected from Tory types because it’s in their DNA to seek fortune wherever it lies and there’s not many of the Profumo ilk who will, as a matter of personal principle, fall on their sword.

Therein, however, lies the disgrace of socialist politicians who have plumbed the depths of the trough in total abandonment of their principles and that is a value that cannot be regained.

We can but hope that those we will rely upon to administer wisely and ethically in an independent Scotland, will be of a high calibre and that where there is a fall from grace, the regulatory authorities will have the spunk to take them down and have their political guts for garters.


2012-07-18 09:10

I am not surprised by this shambles.
I am even less surprised when knowing John Reid is a shareholder and a director.

This is the same John Reid who said we would be out of Afganistan in a MONTH!
He was defence secretary at the time.

So he has a record of being involved in “shambles” of one sort or the other.

What surprises me, but it really should not!
Is the fact that many of these ex politicians who were less than successful in their political life can be picked by companies, paid big money AND collect all that is involved via the house of Lords!
Just a great system for them,no wonder they are fighting to keep it going!

Westminster is a poor investment for ordinary working people when these kinds of things are the normal.

We really need shot of it and build something better, with better ethics and standards, filled with people passionate about our country and with the ability to change the lives of all peoples living here for the better.Not simply to fill their own pockets.

2012-07-18 10:22

Not bad for a former “communist/socialist” turned Lord. The undignified scramble amongst Labour Party members to acquire as many honours as they can, is just one of the most unedifying features of today,s party. Whether it,s the shenanigans at G.C.C, their inability to present even one policy at Holyrood that would benefit the people of Scotland, or their nose-in-the-trough at Westminster, or indeed, their leaders aligning with the Tories to try to prevent Scotland gaining independence, this party is a disgrace. With very few exceptions, they are all in it together to get what benefits themselves, not the electorate.
2012-07-18 10:41

What is it with Labour and ‘security’ firms. Haven’t Labour councillors in Glasgow been linked with so called ‘security’ firms?
2012-07-18 10:59

I think the Baron claimed that the British Army would be out of Afghanistan without firing a shot. Four hundred coffins later!
“They will never be forgotten” we are told after each funeral, well they’re certainly forgotten by Reid, who in true Baron fashion, nowadays concentrates on coining it!
2012-07-18 12:09

This is a perfect example of why the Good Lord Reid and others lead their merry men up the Unionist Hill because there are so many lovely fruit bearing jobs to be had, even after they get thrown out of office.

Even a lowly councillor gets thousands a year plus expenses like telephone and travel. The better ones move up a gear to MP where they earn tens of thousands and until recently almost as much again in expenses could be earned.

And then again those who are really in with the Party get lovely well paid ‘jobs’, if you can call them that after ‘retiring’ from Westminster and often, as in the case of Mr Reid, a seat in the House of Lords at almost £200 a day.

You can see why they will happily bark out Land of Hope and Glory and There Will Always be an England at this and every year’s Proms whilst spitting blood at anything their rivals the SNP proposes for the good of the people of Scotland.

In short, these people care only for themselves otherwise they would never leave their West of Scotland homelands until the poverty they have created is replaced by decent housing, schools and well paid jobs for those who need them.

VOTE YES in 2014 it’s the only way the poor will benefit from Scottish resources and Scottish resourcefulness .

2012-07-18 12:36

the good Dr Reid properly acting like the modern day “Socialist” …We may never have to fire a shot…not so Dr Reid… the Afghans dished out our latest defeat in Afghanista… but dont let that stop you from pocketing your ill gotten gains…. Fraud… No… just another pig at the trough.
Dundonian West
2012-07-18 13:03

For some reason or other Baron Reid doesn’t seem to like the SNP—-from his performances on TV over the past 10 years or so. Can’t understand why he sees them differently from any of the other parties in Scotland.
Perhaps it’s because SNP policy will ultimately,part ly or completely,cut this umbilical cord to the British Establishment with all the benefits,for some,of the Union.
2012-07-18 13:08

I remember the quote by this so called mp who was a member of the then LABOUR GOVERNMENT CABINET ” there will never be NOT shot fired in anger ” when he mobilised the British troops to Afghanistan, it was all about keeping the drug trade under control he commented. Aye right, make your own mind up?
2012-07-19 01:20

Labour politicians do like to control the drugs trade.

Siôn Jones
2012-07-18 13:38

John Reid is not fit for purpose. Never has been, never will be.
2012-07-18 14:28

Bear in mind also that Lord Reid, the Blairite Pitbull, is the archetype of the smug, blinkered, apparatchik. I won’t soon forget his performance at the time of the last GE when he and his ilk purposefully spiked the guns of any non Con-Dem coalition in a fit of pique.

Par for the course naturally for one of the leading players of the nauseating New Labour project, not to mention the fact that anyone who can convert from Communism to the Blairite right is an principle void.

If ever we needed more reasons to vote “yes” in 2014, the opportunity to take away opportunities from people like Reid and his ilk, and being able to see their reactions to a “yes” vote, have to be added to the list.

2012-07-18 15:56

There was also that incident in his past when the polis called with the “hash puppies” to search Reid’s gaff. He wasn’t a Baron then of course so the term “Drug Baron” would be inappropriate. As for the hash, he had no idea where the stuff came from.
2012-07-18 16:12

“earned the title” – I bet he did. Something else to look forward to come independence – titles put in the bin marked “Historic Scotland – quaint nomenclature”
2012-07-19 01:49

This story about Reid is symptomatic of the general, and extensive, corruption which has invaded our public life in recent years. Some years ago, the venal members, including many former Civil Servants and senior Officers of the forces (retd!), learned that the answer to shortage of the money they believed was their due was no longer the brown envelope stuffed with notes (not enough and dangerous) but the jobs for the friends and the contacts who could produce the lucrative contracts for the future.Creatures such as Reid have lost any personal principle or morality they ever had

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.

Donate to Newsnet Scotland