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Tube driver who led ‘free Palestine’ chant on London Underground train suspended, TfL says | UK News

A Tube driver who appeared to lead passengers in a chant of “free, free Palestine” on a London Underground train has been suspended pending further investigation, Transport for London has said.

The incident happened on Saturday as around 100,000 protestors took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

Footage posted online by a journalist appeared to show the chant being led over the train’s speaker system.

The driver of the Central Line service said “free, free” to which passengers responded “Palestine” – a popular chant at protests.

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Glynn Barton, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been urgently and thoroughly investigating the footage appearing to show a Tube driver misusing the PA system and leading chants on a Central Line train on Saturday.

“A driver has now been identified and suspended whilst we continue to fully investigate the incident in line with our policies and procedures.”

The chant was criticised by minister for London Paul Scully who said Tube staff should “focus on the day job” and warned against stoking tension in the capital.

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The Israeli Embassy said: “It is deeply troubling to see such intolerance on London’s Tubes… public transport should be a place of safety and inclusivity for all.”

On Saturday British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said the force was investigating and was “aware of footage circulating on social media which suggests chants are led by driver of a train in London earlier”.

Air on London Tube network polluted with metal particles small enough to enter human bloodstream | UK News

Travellers on London’s Tube network could end up with metallic particles from the polluted air in their bloodstream, a study has found. 

The tiny metal substances hanging around ticket halls, platforms and train driver cabins have been analysed for the first time by a team of University of Cambridge researchers.

They found high levels of a type of iron oxide called maghemite, which they said suggests pollution particles are suspended for long periods due to poor ventilation, particularly on platforms.

Some of the particles have a diameter of just five nanometres, making them small enough to be inhaled and end up in passengers’ and workers’ bloodstreams, University of Cambridge researchers found.

About 3.5 million daily journeys are made on the London Underground on weekdays.

The samples were collected in 2019 and 2021 from locations including Oxford Circus, King’s Cross St Pancras and Paddington stations.

The researchers did not look at whether the metal particles pose a direct health risk, but said their methods could inform future studies.

Professor Richard Harrison, one of the senior authors on the study, said: “If you’re going to answer the question of whether these particles are bad for your health, you first need to know what the particles are made of and what their properties are.

“Our techniques give a much more refined picture of pollution in the Underground.

“We can measure particles that are small enough to be inhaled and enter the bloodstream.

“Typical pollution monitoring doesn’t give you a good picture of the very small stuff.”

passengers wearing masks on the tube

Transport for London’s chief safety, health and environment officer Lilli Matson, said: “We have been working for many years to improve air quality on the Tube, and will continue to do so.

“We periodically collect samples of Tube dust and analyse its content to track levels of potentially harmful materials, including iron, chromium and nickel.

“Analysis has shown that quantities of these materials are well below the legal limits in environments such as the Tube.

“Our monitoring has shown that dust levels on the Tube remain well below limits set by the Health and Safety Executive.”

TfL had developed a number of “innovative” cleaning methods, she said, including the use of industrial backpack dust cleaners.

Rishi Sunak sells poppies at Westminster Tube station during rush hour | Politics News

Rishi Sunak surprised commuters during the morning rush hour by selling poppies at Westminster Tube station in central London.

The prime minister was seen holding a tray full of poppies and talking to members of the public, some who asked for selfies, during a brief appearance to which no media were invited.

The Royal British Legion said they were “grateful to the PM for generously giving up his time to collect with us”.

Others were also quick to share their surprise on spotting Mr Sunak.

Lewis, an operations and data analyst who did not want to give his last name, said he bought a poppy from Mr Sunak for £5.

“I didn’t expect to meet the chap,” he said. “I went to buy my ticket at Westminster Station and he was there selling poppies with the military men and women.”

He said that having been critical of Mr Sunak’s role in Boris Johnson‘s departure as prime minister earlier in the year, he “turns out to be okay”, adding that he is “down to earth” and “approachable”.

“I was surprised he was there,” he said.

Mr Sunak joined several army personnel and civil servant Stephen le Roux.

Pic: @SonOfTheWinds/pa
Pic: @SonOfTheWinds/pa

Some were critical of his appearance, with one commuter tweeting: “Funny how Sunak has time to ‘sell’ a few poppies but not so much for major international conferences.”

It appeared to be a reference to the prime minister’s U-turn on his decision to skip the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

Mr Sunak initially said he was not going, but later said he would attend the event in Sharm el Sheikh after facing a raft of criticism from environmental campaigners and MPs.

It was announced the morning after former prime minister Boris Johnson told Sky News he would be attending.

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Johnson says: ‘I am going to COP27’

Another social media user wrote on Twitter: “Good to see the prime minister helping sell poppies at Westminster tube this morning. We need more of this and less celebrity chasing nonsense from likes [of] Boris Johnson & Matt Hancock.”

Earlier this week it was announced former health secretary Matt Hancock will be jetting off to the jungle in Australia to go on the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!.

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