London

MP John Cryer demands return of Leyton fire engine

Firefighters at the scene of a fire in Peckham, south- east London
Image caption Firefighters are embroiled in a row over new contracts

An MP is demanding the return of a fire engine removed during the industrial action by London firefighters.

The vehicle from Leyton fire station in east London was one of 27 taken by the London fire authority when firefighters walked out in a row over new contracts.

The last strike, planned for Bonfire Night, was called off but none of the pumps have been returned.

MP John Cryer has tabled a Commons motion saying the engine should be returned immediately.

All 27 pumps were handed over to private contractors AssetCo who provided fire cover during the strikes on 23 October and 3 November.

Fire crews called off a strike on 5 November and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has agreed to talks with brigade officials next week.

On Monday London's fire authority chairman Brian Coleman ordered an investigation into whether the brigade needed all the 27 fire appliances and whether there was an over-supply of appliances.

The FBU said the removal of one in six fire engines across London could result in the loss of up to 500 jobs.

It said it vindicated their claims that cuts were at the heart of the firefighters' dispute.

The union is currently embroiled in a row with LFB over claims its members face the sack unless they agree to sign new contracts in which their shift patterns are changed.

The original compromise agreement of an 11-hour day shift and a 13-hour nightshift will be discussed in more detail during talks on 16 November.

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