Boris Johnson heckled by firefighters

Boris Johnson was today heckled by firefighters as he defended his plans to close fire stations and cut firefighter jobs across London.

The mayor of London is pushing ahead with plans to close ten fire stations and axe over 500 jobs in London's fire service.

Johnson became increasingly angry as firefighters shouted "liar" at him from the public gallery at City Hall.

"One death by fire is too many but I will not be shouted at from the gallery when I am simply explaining that the number of deaths from fire has come down," Johnson said as he was himself shouted down.

Addressing the chair of the London Assembly, he added: "And if there was any backbone in the chair he would have them removed. Are you a man or mouse? Man or mouse?"

Johnson later told Labour AM Andrew Dismore to "get stuffed" after he accused the Mayor of lying over his plans.

He quickly withdrew the comment, explaining that it had "just popped out."

Johnson continued to be heckled as he claimed he had listened carefully to Londoners about the cuts.

A consultation by the London Fire Authority found that 94% of those who responded were against the planned cuts.

Johnson has since announced that two of the stations threatened with closure will remain open.

"There has been a long and exhaustive consultation process and in the course of that we did listen to Londoners who made particular points about two stations," he told the Assembly.

"The plan is now being modestly varied… but the general direction remains the same."

"I am content after very very close examination of the evidence before me that this will continue to allow us to drive down fire in London."

Johnson's closure programme comes as firefighters plan a national strike over changes to their pensions.