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Hunt defends security giant G4S
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has defended beleaguered security giant G4S, insisting it was "completely normal" for contractors on projects like the London Olympics to fail to meet their commitments.
Mr Hunt said the firm had been "quite honourable" in the way it had accepted responsibility for the debacle which has seen 3,500 extra troops being drafted in after it was unable to deliver the promised numbers of security guards.
Despite troops returning from arduous operational tours in Afghanistan being forced to cancel leave in order to fill the gaps, he dismissed the problem as no more than a "hitch" which has now been dealt with.
"G4S have been quite honourable. They have put their hands up. Nick Buckles, the chief executive, has said they got it wrong, they have apologised, they are going to cover all the costs, he has apologised to the troops who are going to be drafted in at the last moment," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.
"I think it is completely normal that you are going to find some contractors on a project of this size who aren't able to deliver what they have promised."
Mr Hunt denied that ministers had failed to supervise the contract properly, insisting they had received repeated assurances from G4S that it was on course to meet its commitment to provide 10,000 guards for the Games.
"We, of course, have been monitoring the situation at G4S. Their management told us right up until last week that everything was on track. The moment that they didn't, we put in place a contingency plan," he said.
Mr Hunt refused to rule out the possibility that more troops may have to be brought in. "We have contingency plans for all eventualities," he said.
His comments came as it emerged that ministers had been warned 10 months ago about concerns over security for the Games.
The Home Office confirmed that they had received a confidential report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in February of last year raising a number of "issues to be addressed" with the Games organisers, Locog.