Reports that initial “power surge” claims during the London
bombings were deliberate misinformation have been dismissed as
“absolute bollocks” by the press office for Transport for London.
Sun reported on Friday that the power surge rumour was “false
information deliberately designed to reduce panic” and The Guardian’s
home affairs editor, Alan Travis, quoted a London Transport source on
the same day as saying: “When I heard the words power surge I knew it
was a communications ploy.”
But Stephen Webb, deputy head of news
at Transport for London, said said the initial information coming into
the office was simply that the current had been knocked out at one of
the network control centres: “something that might have come from a
massive power surge”.
And he said that this information was passed on to early callers, including the Evening Standard.
said that no professional would deliverately put out a false
information and added: “”As the minutes ticked on it became clear what
had caused it was an explosion, but there was so much going on, so much
information coming in…Once we were aware of the [true] situation it
was time to inform staff and decide where to send PR officers before we
could get a clear statement out.”