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Arriva investigating bus driver after claims he called black children 'monkeys' on a route from Gravesend to Rochester

By Rachel Dixon

A bus company is investigating claims of racism after one of its drivers allegedly called black children "animals and monkeys".

A mother has hit out at Arriva after her 11-year-old daughter was targeted on the 668 bus, which runs from Chalk near Gravesend to Rochester Grammar School.

The incident happened at about 8.10am on Wednesday morning after it was more than half an hour late arriving to the stop on Lower Higham Road in Gravesend.

A group of girls reportedly rushed onto the bus and people started pushing to make room.

The bus driver allegedly told the girls he was "not going anywhere" until they got off the bus, and is accused of swearing at them.

He then allegedly said: "Get off the bus you monkeys, you're all animals."

An Arriva bus. Stock image
An Arriva bus. Stock image

Mother Ngozi Okeke, whose 11-year-old daughter suffered the abuse, has complained to Arriva.

She described her shock that the driver had decided to call children on the bus "animals and monkeys".

Arriva has said the company neither expects nor condones this type of behaviour from any employee, adding an urgent internal investigation is already under way.

A spokesman said: "I am so sorry to hear that this has happened. We do not expect or condone this type of behaviour from any Arriva employee.

"I have gathered everyone's comments that have tweeted us so far regarding this matter and I have passed them onto the depot concerned to make them aware of this."

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