Cab company cars damaged after rumours of drivers telling passengers to 'remove poppies'
Categories: Latest News
Thursday November 13 2014
The Weston Mercury reports on disturbing accounts of revenge attacks on a taxi company in Weston and Somerset after rumours began circulating of taxi drivers asking passengers to ‘remove poppies’.
Apple Central Taxis, owned by businessman Iftikhar Ul-Haq, has been confronted with rumours circulating on social media of two passengers who were allegedly told to remove their poppy by taxi drivers employed by the company.
The company has received no formal complaint from passengers and the rumours are as yet unverified.
Nonetheless, the rumours have led to criminal damage to the company’s cars and verbal abuse directed at staff. Furthermore, The Weston branch of the English Defence League has called for a boycott of Apple taxis.
Apple taxi’s general manager, Steve Tedd, told the local paper, that no passengers had come forward with details of the date and time of the alleged incident or to make a formal complaint. The impact of the rumours have been immediate with Tedd confirming that “A couple of drivers have had car windows smashed.”
He added, “We also had a soldier on Saturday afternoon walk into our office, having heard the rumours and was angry, and wanted to talk it out with our telephonist. Thankfully after half an hour it ended peacefully.
“The allegations have had a bad effect on my staff and drivers.
“I have heard four different versions of the same story. If I have anything factual, then I will act, but if I hear nothing officially then I will have to class it as a vicious hoax.
“We are talking about people’s livelihoods and I’m not going to sack people on say-so.”
The Royal British Legion have spoken out for the company saying it is and has always been a supporter of the poppy appeal.
Iftikhar Ul-Haq, owner of the company, told the local paper “I am Asian and I have never seen anyone say ‘I don’t want to wear a poppy’.
“I would sack any guilty driver there and then… I wouldn’t even let them come into the office.”