Steven Hedley, assistant general secretary to the RMT union, appeared to lose his cool after he was questioned about the RMT walkout protest over the sacking of the Northern Line tube driver who failed a breath test before going on duty.
The union say the type of breathalyser used on the scene did not account for people with diabetes. However, London Underground chiefs claim that two separate breathalysers were used, the results of which are not influenced by the condition, and that the driver could have endangered the lives of hundreds of passengers.
“The man in question has got diabetes, which has been proven to give a false result on a breathalyser,” Hedley said on Nick Ferrari's LBC show on Wednesday.
Ferrari asked whether the driver had failed the breath test, and Hedley refused to answer. Following a further pressing, he launched into a tirade, repeatedly asking Ferrari: “Have you stopped beating your wife?”
“I’m no longer a married man,” Ferrari replied.
Hedley continued to repeat the accusations, at which point the presenter cut him off air, saying: “Goodbye Mr Hedley. I just find that offensive.
“I have tried time and time again. I have to take it that your colleague failed.
“You had really interesting points to make there. Clearly you are unhappy with the test. Clearly, it may have been poorly administered. Your colleague, I think, appears to have diabetes. If he is that and that's why he failed his test, I will be there to support him.
“But your vile and abusive stance means I never wish to speak to you again. And in my eyes, you have diminished the case of your colleague immeasurably.
“For you, as an Assistant General Secretary, you need some form of media training. Goodbye.”
The union is yet to confirm a date for the 24-hour strike action, which could be set to affect millions of commuters in London.Reuse content