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Downham fire station closure could see 'blood on the hands' of Boris Johnson

PUBLISHED: 14:51 05 August 2013

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Archant

Boris Johnson could have "blood on his hands" after forcing through the closure of Downham fire station, according to a leading Fire Brigade Union member.

The Mayor of London this week overruled the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, which rejected his plans to save £28.8million and cut 552 jobs.

Downham will now become one of 10 stations across the capital to close, alongside Woolwich, Westminster and Knightsbridge.

However, FBU executive member for London, Ian Leahair, believes the cuts are “perverse” and could put the lives of firefighters and the public at risk.

He said: “Clearly for Downham we think cuts will reckless and will cost lives.

“These are Boris Johnson’s cuts whatever way you look at it and I don’t mind telling you that if a firefighter dies as a result, then he will have blood on his hands.”

A survey of 1,500 Londoners for the FBU found that seven out of 10 people believed the cuts would put public safety at risk.

Mr Johnson’s plans, which will see an additional fire engine given to Orpington fire station, could be implemented by September 16.

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