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TSSA blame Boris Johnson for Tube cuts which let a jihadi get a job on the Tube

6 June 2017

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, says Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson must be held to account for the serious lapse in security procedures in the Tube whilst he was Mayor of London, head of London transport and London's elected police and crime commissar.

Responding to news reports that one of the London Bridge killers was employed as a trainee Customer Service Assistant (CSA) between May and October 2016 TSSA say Boris Johnson's cuts agenda compromised security and vetting procedures and let a self-proclaimed jihadi gain employment on the Tube.

"The process of becoming employed on the tube as a CSA should rightfully be a long one. Since 7/7 public transport is quite rightly a highly security-sensitised industry. It should take anywhere between four and six months from filling out your application form to your CSA induction day. There are two interviews, a variety of suitability tests and then security protocols are supposed to be applied.

"So this London Bridge killer will have applied for his position between October and December 2015 at the same time Boris was bludgeoning through nearly 1,000 job cuts on the Tube - which would downgrading safety procedure on the Tube and take out all 242 staff in the specialist CCTV monitoring unit. 

“But downgrading the security of London was part of a wider political agenda. In 2010 in London there were 4,607 PCSOs, and today there are 1,487 - that is a 68% cut thanks to Tory Mayor Boris and Tory Home Secretary May.  

"Like Theresa May Boris neither valued the opinion of British Transport Police, London's Met police nor Tube union warnings that his actions would imperil security.

"Like Theresa May he accused us all of ‘crying wolf’ and proceeded with his ideological attack on London's integrated security agencies as a sacrifice he was prepared to make in the name of cost efficiency.

"My members on the Tube are furious that a self-proclaimed jihadi who praised terrorist attacks on his Facebook pages, and had been on TV inciting his racial and community hatred and it appears was an associate of the Tube's 7/7 attackers was left walking the streets let alone given a job on the Tube.

"Sadiq's made an extensive Security Review when he came into power last year and his recommendations have gone a long way to reverse The Tory's wreck less and cavalier cuts. But our members are understandably nervous about who else may have slipped through the net and what other Tory chickens have yet to come home to roost.

"I will be contacting Sadiq today to see just how we now go forward to ensure London's public transport system does not still have huge blind spots left by Tory cuts.

"But I tell you this - unions, the Met, the Police Federation, the BTP Federation we are not in the business of playing politics with the security of our capital. Tories attempts to smear us as ‘crying wolf’ are ringing hollow. Don't let the Tories off the hook on Thursday. They have been playing Russian Roulette with public security for too long and this week our capital hit again.

"Community policing is the way to root out the intelligence to get these extremists put away and prevent them from ever being close to being employed on the Tube again."


Note to desks:

TSSA do not want to dignify the London Bridge killer by naming him nor attributing him a cause other than that of a crazed barbaric killer.
TSSA can confirm he was not a member of our union.

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