G4S had been awarded a £284m contract to provide staff for Olympic events but fell woefully short of the required numbers. As a result, British troops had to be drafted in to plug the gaps.

The security firm admitted its handling of the Olympics contract had been a “humiliating shambles”, but still intended to claim its management fee for what some might suggest amounted to a mismanaged job.

The £2.5m donation, which will reportedly go towards Armed Forces sports and welfare organisations, is dwarfed by the value of G4S’s £284m contract – even when taking into account the firm’s projected loss of between £35m and £50m on the deal.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the donation was “welcome news for the service welfare funds and will go some way to recognising the inconvenience and extra burden that this commitment has placed upon our forces and their families”.

However, there were some compliments thrown G4S’s way. General Sir Nick Parker, standing joint commander for operation Olympics, said: “The day to day working with G4S has been exceptional and I would like to pay tribute to the G4S staff and volunteers. Working side by side I believe they are doing a very professional job in providing Olympic security.”

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