Corbyn warns of public risk from cuts to fire services

Austerity is putting people’s lives at risk, Jeremy Corbyn is warning.

The Labour leader will claim that cuts to firefighter numbers are leading to “slower response times and greater risk to the public”.

He will make the comments at a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fire Brigades Union, warning that “cuts have consequences”.

In a service at Southwark Cathedral, he is expected to say: “Firefighters dealt with more incidents, more fires and saw more fire deaths last year than for most of the last decade in England, yet the Tories continue to starve fire authorities of the central funding necessary to keep the public safe.

“Cuts have consequences, and we cannot afford to cut these vital public services.

“Since 2010, one-in-five firefighter jobs have been cut. In England, that is almost 9,000 frontline firefighter jobs.

“That means fewer firefighters at the early stages of incidents, slower response times and greater risk to the public.

“These dreadful figures confirm firefighters’ worst fears. Austerity is putting public safety at risk.”