The inquest into the death of 21-year-old Jaden Francois-Esprit, who took his own life following reports of bullying and harassment at work because of his race, has sparked an independent review into the workplace culture at the brigade and how it treats recruits.

The review will look into issues of mental health, race and gender, following concerns of a racist and misogynistic culture and how Mr Francois-Esprit’s struggles had not been spotted.

It has been reported that internal data shows BAME recruits are less likely to be promoted, women are underrepresented at all levels and two-thirds of its LGBT staff don’t feel comfortable disclosing their identity while at work.

Risk of injury and even death is a possibility as a firefighter but being bullied, harassed or discriminated against, especially from those meant to be there to protect you, is no part of the job description. 

Vince Reynolds, the personal injury solicitor who supported Jaden’s family and the FBU at the inquest, said: “We welcome this review, however, there needs to be transparency on how it is to be managed and openness about when it is to start.

“Until the review is complete and published, the London Fire Brigade must evidence what they are doing to stamp down on such crimes and supporting its staff – old and new.

“The review needs to honestly examine how such a culture was allowed to develop in the first place and how to ensure it can never happen again. All workers deserve to be respected and feel valued, especially those who risk their lives day in, day out, to help others.”

Thompsons has supported thousands of FBU members and their families. For more information, visit the FBU hub