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Firefighters lambast ‘political and biased’ attack from inspectorate

A REPORT from the fire and rescue watchdog has been branded a politically motivated attack on firefighters and their union.

Angry Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack rounded on the annual report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Rescue Services, called the State of Fire,  as “neither evidence-based nor independent” and “full of untruths and omissions.”

“While firefighters are out tackling fires, floods and the pandemic, the inspectorate didn’t even have the courtesy to speak to or provide us in advance with a copy of their report, which was passed to us by a journalist,” Mr Wrack said yesterday.

He cited the inspectorate’s claim that the FBU had produced “unnecessarily detailed” safety requirements while “in the same breath” stating that large staff absences driven by Covid-19 outbreaks “didn’t materialise.”

“How does the inspectorate think these outbreaks were prevented? It was a direct result of paying serious attention to workplace safety by the FBU and its members,” said Mr Wrack.

“The message from this report is clear: fire chiefs and the government don’t want workers to have a voice over their own safety or their terms and conditions.”

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