Firefighters are attending a lobby of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) meeting today to protest plans to close 12 fire stations, including Downham, New Cross and Woolwich.

Eighteen fire engines and 250 firefighter posts are also under threat following the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s plans to drive through £45m of cuts in the LFEPA budget.

The lobby has been called by the London region of the Fire Brigades Union.

Paul Embery, FBU regional secretary for London said: “The proposed cuts are reckless and wrong. You can't slash 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 520 firefighter posts without jeopardising public safety.

“The helicopter crash that occurred earlier this week showed the importance of having a properly-funded, well-resourced fire service in the capital, and it is worthy of note that the first crew at the scene was mobilised from a station - Clapham - earmarked for closure and arrived within four minutes.

“The safety of Londoners is playing second fiddle to crude economic considerations. We are calling on the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Ron Dobson, and Boris Johnson to think again. If they don't, we will campaign as vigorously as we can, alongside the public, to defend London's fire service.”

The lobby started at 1.30pm at the London Fire Brigade headquarters in Union Street.