Police investigating after ‘driver leads free Palestine chant’ on London Underground

Footage reveals how driver used slogan ahead of pro-Palestinian demonstration in the UK capital

Police are investigating after a London Underground employee led a 'Free Palestine' chant while driving a  train full of protesters. Bloomberg
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Police are investigating after a tube driver led a chant of “free, free Palestine” on a London Underground train.

Minister for London Paul Scully said staff should “focus on the day job” and warned against stoking tension in the capital.

As around 100,000 protesters took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration, footage posted online by journalist Ruby Lott-Lavigna 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 the passengers responded “Palestine” – a popular chant at protests.

Tory Minister Mr Scully said that it's "important that Londoners don’t stoke the tension in our capital where Jews live peacefully alongside Muslims".

He suggested Labour mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) “need to get staff focused on the day job of safely moving people from A to B”.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “London’s tubes are for everyone. Many will find this intimidating.”

He said the mayor “has a duty to help all Londoners feel safe”.

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

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

A TfL spokesman said: “We are committed to providing a safe network for everyone and want to make it clear that London is open to everyone.

“We are aware of footage circulating on social media that suggests political comments may have been made by one of our Tube drivers.

“We are working to scrutinise the footage and ensure the circumstances are urgently investigated.”

Updated: October 21, 2023, 7:11 PM