Reports of taxi drivers telling passengers to remove poppies before they will accept the fare has led to a Weston firm promising to sack any employee who is prejudicial against the Remembrance Day symbol.

Social media has been abuzz with stories of multiple Apple Central Taxis' customers being asked to take off poppies – allegations, which although unproven at this stage, have led to company cars being smashed and verbal abuse aimed at staff.

The taxi firm started an investigation last week despite no customers issuing an official complaint, although owner Iftikhar Ul-Haq promised the company is taking the claims seriously.

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