A Tube driver who appeared to lead passengers in a chant of “free, free Palestine” on a London Underground train has been suspended pending further investigation, Transport for London said.
The incident happened on Saturday as around 100,000 protesters took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Footage posted online by a journalist 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.
Glynn Barton, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been urgently and thoroughly investigating the footage appearing to show a Tube driver misusing the PA system and leading chants on a Central Line train on Saturday.
“A driver has now been identified and suspended whilst we continue to fully investigate the incident in line with our policies and procedures.”
The chant was criticised by minister for London Paul Scully who said Tube staff should “focus on the day job” and warned against stoking tension in the capital.
The Israeli Embassy said: “It is deeply troubling to see such intolerance on London’s Tubes … public transport should be a place of safety and inclusivity for all.”
On Saturday British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said the force was investigating and was “aware of footage circulating on social media which suggests chants are led by driver of a train in London earlier”.
Finn Brennan, full-time organiser on London Underground for the train drivers’ union Aslef, said: “We are aware that a Tube train driver has been suspended while an investigation takes place.
“The involvement of the police in this matter is a ridiculous overreaction to something that should clearly be dealt with internally by Transport for London in line with normal procedures.”