London's firefighters raged at Mayor Boris Johnson today following plans to close 12 stations and sack 400 staff across the capital.
The Tory's fire commissioner Ron Dobson clashed with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) as he unveiled plans to slash around £45m from the London brigade's budget over the next two years - acting on Mr Johnson's orders.
The union's regional secretart Paul Embery said the "proposed cuts are dangerous and wrong," and leaves London fire brigade facing "perhaps the biggest threat to its ability to function since the second world war."
The "intolerable" recommendations, which go before the London fire authority later this month, would see a tenth of the capital's stations close.
Those in Belsize, Bow, Clapham, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, New Cross, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich are being slated for closure.
The cuts would also take 18 fire engines out of service and cost around 400 firefighters' jobs.
Mr Embery also claimed the cuts would "undoubtedly jeopardise the safety of Londoners and firefighters alike" and disputed the mayor's claim that response times will not be affected by the cuts.
"Aside from the fact that he has provided little supporting evidence for this claim, anyone who knows anything about firefighting knows that it isn't just about the speed of response. The weight of response - ensuring that you have adequate resources to deal with developing and large-scale incidents - is just as crucial.
"It is intolerable that Londoners' safety is being compromised because of crude economic considerations.
"These reckless cuts will endanger Londoners, and we will campaign vigorously against them," he said.
Labour's London Assembly spokesman Navin Shah insisted the cuts went "too far and too fast."
Mr Johnson should have demanded a better deal for Londoners from his colleagues in Westminster, he said.
Since 2010 Chancellor George Osborne has cut central government grants for fire services by 27 per cent, citing his austerity agenda.
The commissioner's announcement also comes less than six months after 200 firefighters descended on Dagenham to battle the biggest blaze in the history of post-war Britain - a callout involving roughly a quarter of its force.
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