RAF man turned away by Asian cabbie in row over uniform

AN inquiry is underway after an RAF serviceman was refused a cab by an Asian taxi driver in Sheffield who objected to his uniform.

The 24-year-old serviceman who had been at a family wedding ceremony in his RAF "blues" was turned away from the black cab by the driver who apparently became aggressive.

Sheffield City Council, the RAF and the local taxi association are now investigating amid calls for the driver to be sacked.

Vince McDonagh of the local joint ex-servicemen's association said: "Everybody is astounded that a British taxi can turn away someone in uniform at this time of year.

"Taxis should be bound by the rules of the licensing authority and I think they should locate this driver and take his badge away.

"It makes you angry and disgusted. They are fighting for their country and it is a kick in the teeth for them."

The incident happened last Saturday after Kevin Burke's daughter got married at Sheffield Register Office.

Mr Burke, 46, a part-time lecturer from Sheffield, did not want to reveal his son's name who is from the city but is based in Scotland, for security reasons.

But he said he wants the authorities to take action.

He said: "My wife and my son went to get a taxi near the town hall after the ceremony to go on to the reception.

"When the cab pulled up they were about to get in when the driver said he wasn't letting my son in because he was in uniform.

"My wife asked him for a reason and the driver became quite aggressive in turning them down. He made it quite clear it was because my son was in the forces.

"Being a professional my son just turned his back and walked away and they hailed a private taxi to get to the reception.

"It is totally disgusting. The driver did not give an opinion but made it apparent he did not like servicemen.

"If you are providing a public service you should not refuse people like my son. He is fighting for his country after all."

Even the local taxi drivers are incensed at what happened.

A spokesman for the local black cab drivers said: "It is not needed. These servicemen and women protect our way of life. They put their lives at risk for this nation. To be treated like that is unbelievable."

Sheffield City Council said: "On the face of it is disappointing and disheartening."

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