A Tube driver has been criticised for leading a chant of “free, free Palestine” on a London Underground train.

Minister for London Paul Scully said staff should “focus on the day job” and warned against stoking tension in the capital.

As around 100,000 protesters took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration, footage posted online by journalist Ruby Lott-Lavigna appeared to show the chant being led over the train’s speaker system.

The driver of the Central line service said “free, free” to which the passengers responded “Palestine” – a popular chant at protests.

Tory minister Mr Scully said: “At a time when there’s not enough emphasis on the difference between the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas and the legitimate concerns of Palestinians in Gaza, it’s really important that Londoners don’t stoke the tension in our capital where Jews live peacefully alongside Muslims.

“Informed protest can bring change. But on-trend bandwagons can cause rifts and fear in communities, increasing the threat to the safety of some passengers travelling among those crowds.”

Israel-Hamas conflict
Around 100,000 people are thought to have attended a pro-Palestinian demonstration in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He suggested Labour mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) “need to get staff focused on the day job of safely moving people from A to B”.

Security minister Tom Tugendhat wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “London’s tube’s are for everyone. Many will find this intimidating.”

He said the mayor “has a duty to help all Londoners feel safe”.

The Israeli Embassy wrote: “It is deeply troubling to see such intolerance on London’s tubes…. public transport should be a place of safety and inclusivity for all.”

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said the force was “aware of footage circulating on social media which suggests chants are led by driver of a train in London earlier”.

“BTP are working with Transport for London and investigating the matter.”

A TfL spokesman said: “We are committed to providing a safe network for everyone and want to make it clear that London is open to everyone.

“We are aware of footage circulating on social media that suggests political comments may have been made by one of our Tube drivers.

“We are working to scrutinise the footage and ensure the circumstances are urgently investigated.”