borisLondon Mayor Boris Johnson was forced to fiercly defend his plans to cut elements of the London Fire Brigade after he was heckled by Service personnel during the annual State of London debate.

Mayor Johnson said he was "putting his trust" in LFB chief Ron Dobson's recommendations to cut 12 fire stations, 18 engines and 520 jobs as part of efficiency savings.

No intention to increase deaths
After suggestions from audience members that these cuts would put lives in danger, the Mayor said: "You seem to be saying there's an intention to increase the number of deaths from fire [in London] - that's absolute nonsense."

"Thanks to the efforts of the public and the LFB incidents have been cut by 50% and fire deaths by a third in the last ten years," Mr Johnson continued.

"What we're doing now is bring more parts of London within the minimum journey times for both the first and second fire appliance. The LFB would not have asked me to propose this plan if they did not belive they could continue with that objective.

Put the people of London at risk
Firefighters at the debate suggested that cuts would inevitably put the people of London at risk.

The Mayor re-iterated his openess to modifying plans even after the consultation closes next week should he receive new information from the LFB.