A tube driver who led pro-Palestinian 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”, and told Parliament that police were investigating the matter.
Pro-Palestine protests have occurred across the country following a Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 Israelis and Israel’s subsequent bombing of Gaza this month.
A clip posted on social media on Saturday showed a tannoy pipe used to chant “free, free,” prompting protesters to respond “Palestine.”
He was greeted with cheers and applause from protesters, with the host adding: “I hope everyone has a blessed day today. And take care of yourselves. And keep all those people in your prayers. Have a nice day.”
Some commentators on social media criticized TfL and 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 footage which appears to show a tube driver misusing the public address system and leading chants on a train. the Central line on Saturday.
“One driver has been identified and suspended while we continue to fully investigate the incident in accordance with our policies and procedures.”
Addressing Parliament on Monday, Sunak said: “The British Transport Police are actively working with the Department for Transport. [for] London to examine that issue.
“Of course it is 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 also hope that the Mayor of London and other transport officials will take action to ensure that this is the case.”
Anti-Semitic incidents, including assaults and vandalism, spiked 300 percent in the days after the attack on Israel, which killed about 1,400 people.
Protesters in London have shown images of paragliders in tribute to Hamas terrorists who flew over Israel’s border walls to massacre civilians on October 7.
The Metropolitan Police estimates that around 100,000 people attended the “National March for Palestine” over the weekend.
The driver was questioned by police on Monday night. A spokesman for British Transport Police told The Telegraph: “A London Underground driver has been approached and officers are speaking to him this evening.”
The London mayor’s office has been contacted for comment.