Bilderberg Conference: £528,000 policing bill defended by Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer (From Watford Observer)
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Bilderberg Conference: £528,000 policing bill defended by Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer defended a £528,000 bill for policing the Bilderberg conference, which must be paid by Hertfordshire taxpayers, suggesting "that’s how the system works".
David Cameron and George Osborne, who were both on the guest list of the Bilderberg Group meeting, held at The Grove hotel last year, agreed that the hefty price tag of policing the event should be paid by the taxpayer.
Last week it was announced that Hertfordshire Constabulary’s application for a Home Office grant to pay the remaining £528,000 was rejected.
The Bilderberg Group had made a donation of £426,000 after the controversial conference, which took place in June, attracted more than 2,000 people, along with about £990,000 of policing costs.
Mr Osborne said that police were necessary to guard the event, but was unable to answer what benefits Hertfordshire residents would see from their substantial bill.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne
The government minister said: "We host events in this country and we want them to be held peacefully and we want them to be held under the rule of the law and there are policing costs associated with all sorts of events in and around the country and we have a police force precisely so that we can police them better."
Special grant funding is available from the Home Office. However, the cost of policing the event fell short of the one per cent threshold (£1.8 million) and was not assessed as bearing a risk to the force’s financial stability or capacity to deliver policing.
The conservative Prime Minister explained that there is funding relief available when "excessive" costs are involved. However, he did not touch upon the fact that Hertfordshire Constabulary’s application was rejected by the Home Office.
Mr Cameron said: "If the costs are excessive then there are opportunities to apply to the Home Office for help.
"We are very happy to look at this case but the law is as the chancellor says that the police force is able to cope with events and organisations that come for the conferences in Hertfordshire or elsewhere. That’s how the system works."
Prime Minister David Cameron
Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne’s views on the Bilderberg police bill were shared when they were in Maple Cross on Tuesday to welcome construction company, Skanska’s, news that it intends to create 1,500 jobs across the country over the next two to three years.
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