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A MAJOR security alert was sparked at COP26 after a gun and knife were found stashed in a security guard’s belongings.
The weapons were seized by cops on Tuesday close to a cruise liner housing hundreds of staff recruited to help protect world leaders.
The discovery comes on the eve of the global summit and raises serious questions over vetting of security staff.
The weapons were found hidden in the belongings of civilian staff recruited to guard the summit’s key locations in Glasgow.
Up to 1,700 have been drafted in for the climate talks which will be attended by 120 world leaders.
They include PM Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Pope Francis.
Police confirmed they had seized the weapons after they were found during a routine search on Tuesday afternoon.
They have launched an investigation.
Thousands are heading to Glasgow this weekend for Cop26 amid major flooding and claims of over-flowing bins and streets teeming with rats.
A shocked insider said police had carried out further searches of security staff this week and recovered other items, including knuckle-dusters and drugs.
The former military man was among 30 who walked out on Thursday in protest at the “shocking” lapses and discovery of the gun and knife.
The source told The Sun: “I’ve been in security all over the world and at major events like the Olympics.
“I have never seen anything like this in 25 years of doing this work. It’s an absolute joke.
“They’ve recruited former military personnel and ex police officers to help provide the security.
“We’re extremely professional people. But at the lower end there are others who have simply passed courses.
“Those in charge have no idea who these people are, where they have come from or what motivates them.
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“And these people are being given access to locations filled with world leaders, their entourage and dignitaries.
“I genuinely believe the world leaders attending the summit are not safe.”
The security staff will join over 10,000 police officers guarding hotels, the conference centre and various other locations.
They are staying on board a massive cruise liner docked in Greenock, 25 miles away from Glasgow, during the global event.
The security staff - recruited from 15 different firms as part of a £14million government contract - are being bussed into Glasgow every day.
The gun and knife were recovered during a routine search by separate security staff brought in to guard the floating hotel.
Last night, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report that a knife and BB gun had been found in a car park on Port Glasgow Road, Greenock.
“This was reported around 3.20pm on Tuesday following a routine search by security staff.
“Enquiries are at an early stage to establish the full circumstances.”
'SAFE AND SECURE'
The security scare comes as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Police Scotland chief Iain Livingstone and National Clinical Director Jason Leitch held a press conference yesterday on the preparations being made to make COP26 “safe and secure”.
The Chief Constable stressed terrorist incidents during the summit were deemed “possible but not likely” - with a “moderate” threat level tagged on the event.
That compares to the “substantial” terror threat level the Joint Terrorist Assessment Centre set for the whole UK at the start of the year.
Mr Livingstone told journalists: “Only this week I spoke directly through secure means with the Director General of MI5, and again we discussed a number of contingency plans and joint working that goes on a daily basis.
“We have an exceptionally close working relationship with the security service, and again, I have briefed the First Minister on issues that came from that.”
“There is nothing that has been brought to our attention through intelligence, through information, that would suggest there is a terrorist threat to COP26.”
But he warned that anyone - including climate protesters - who seek to disrupt the UN climate talks or cause “damage and disorder” would be dealt with “swiftly and robustly”.
The Chief Constable said the policing operation for the conference - which could see up to 10,000 officers from around the UK deployed on key days - will be among the biggest in British history.
He said 7,000 cops from elsewhere in the UK arrived north of the border yesterday (FRI).
And he warned visual images of policing during COP26 protests may “look quite messy” if robust measures need to be used - with “protest removal teams” of up to six officers to be deployed against disruptive activists.
Ms Sturgeon told the briefing she expects spontaneous protests to take place during the summit.
But she warned: “Progress will not be made if discussions are disrupted.”
The First Minister added: “More generally - and this of course applies to all protests - I would ask that people demonstrating show consideration for the city and people who live here.”
She said Glasgow had a “proud tradition” of peaceful protest and stressed: “We want peoples’ voices to be heard.”
Police Scotland train dogs ahead of COP26 climate summit in Glasgow
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