Essex firefighters set the record straight

On Friday, the Basildon Echo’s front page led with the story ‘Corbyn in town for the many not the few.... but he is not talking to the local press or any 'real' Basildon people as he leaves venue by backdoor’. 

Local firefighters who attended the event say that this is manifestly untrue. During his visit Jeremy Corbyn met with 12 Essex firefighters, the majority of whom serve at Basildon fire station in the centre of town. Following the speech at Pitsea leisure centre Jeremy Corbyn invited the firefighters to meet with him so he could discuss their concerns and highlight Labour's manifesto commitment to secure the future of the fire service nationally.

Riccardo la Torre, the Fire Brigades Union’s Eastern regional secretary, said: “Jeremy spoke to serving Basildon firefighters at length and listened to our concerns. We discussed Labour's manifesto commitments to the fire service, including the pledge of 3000 more firefighters across the UK.  This will go a long way towards helping to replace the firefighters we have lost in Essex and further afield due to Tory cuts, and help address the slowest emergency response times in 20 years, all of which will help to keep the public safe."

Basildon firefighter Simon McNally said: "It was refreshing to speak to a politician who actually listened to us and didn't just give us scripted or rehearsed answers.   We were encouraged to hear Jeremy's policies on rebuilding the fire service so we can get on with the job of serving the community of Basildon and those who need us most." 

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