Tony Blair has backed calls to pay London’s fire station cleaners at the London Living Wage of of £7.20 an hour.
The Prime Minister was asked about the row by Labour MP Dawn Butler MP who described as “indefensible” the votes of Brian Coleman AM (Con, Barnet and Camden), Bob Blackman AM (Con, Brent and Harrow) and Cllr Maurice Heaster (Con, LB Wandsworth) against paying fire station cleaners a minimum of £7.20 an hour.
Responding, Mr Blair said “it is excellent that London is focused on paying the Living Wage to the cleaners. I very hope much hope if right honourable gentleman [Tory Leader David Cameron] can exert a bit of control over his party they can change their decision.”
Earlier this week Mr Coleman warned that the increase in pay could see four stations close.
“Paying London Fire Station cleaners the London Living wage of £7.20, as Labour’s Val Shawcross suggested, is just ridiculous. A wage hike to those levels is equivalent to the cost of running four stations.”
“If we went ahead with this pay deal, the money would have to come from somewhere and she needs to say where. Do we close four fire stations to pay for it?”
Speaking on Wednesday Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said it was “decision time for all those who say they support tackling poverty and low wages in London because we now have a London-wide public service facing a vote on the issue in a matter of days.”