A Tube driver who led pro-Palestine chants on the London Underground this weekend has been suspended.
The suspension came after Rishi Sunak urged Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to ensure the public could travel “without intimidation”, telling Parliament that police were looking into the matter.
Pro-Palestine protests have taken place across the country following an attack by Hamas that killed more than 1,400 Israelis, and Israel’s subsequent bombardment of Gaza, this month.
A clip posted on social media on Saturday showed a Tube tannoy being used to chant “free, free”, prompting protesters to respond “Palestine”.
It was greeted with cheers and applause from the demonstrators, with the driver adding: “I hope you all have a blessed day today. And look after yourselves. And keep all those people in your prayers. Have a good day.”
Some commentators on social media criticised TfL and Mr Khan for “creating a culture of fear in London”.
Full investigation continues
Glynn Barton, TfL’s chief operating officer, said on Monday following questions from The Telegraph: “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.”
Addressing Parliament earlier on Monday, Mr Sunak said: “The British Transport Police are actively working with Transport [for] London to look into that issue.
“Of course that’s an operational matter for the police, but the Government is clear that everyone should have the right to travel safely and without intimidation.
“And I would also hope that the Mayor of London and the others responsible for transport would take steps to make sure that is the case.”
Anti-Semitic incidents, including assaults and vandalism, soared by 300 per cent in the days following the attack on Israel, in which some 1,400 people were killed.
Demonstrators in London have displayed images of paragliders in tribute to the Hamas terrorists who flew over Israel’s border walls to massacre civilians on October 7.
The Met Police estimate around 100,000 people attended a “National March for Palestine” on the weekend.
The driver was being questioned by police on Monday night. A British Transport Police spokesman told The Telegraph: “A London Underground driver has come forward and officers are speaking with them this evening.”
The Mayor of London’s office has been approached for comment.