Unite leader Len McCluskey joined the crowd of 600 campaigners who marched through Bromley on Saturday to voice their opposition to privatisation of council services.

The protest, which began from Norman Park, came after a series of strikes by council staff last week.

Members of the union voted by 87 per cent to take strike action in protest against what they describe as a “mass privatisation programme” and “cuts to pay and conditions”.

Mr McCluskey accused the council of failing Bromley’s residents and said he is proud Unite is opposing the cuts.

He said: “In Bromley alone, we have members who have taken over 30 days of strike action in defence of the services they provide.

“Just this week Unite members working in the libraries of Bromley stood up and fought back because they oppose plans to sack staff and cut library services.”

“Unite is proud to be supporting Backing Bromley a new community group that has grown to fight Bromley council.”

Mr McCluskey said in October Unite and Backing Bromley are planning to release a “dossier of failings” reported to them by Bromley Residents.

He added: “Our message is clear - Unite will not be silenced, the people of Bromley will not be silenced.”

Councillor Colin Smith, Bromley Council’s deputy leader, said: “We are obviously aware of Unite the Trade Union’s crude attempt to cause political mischief locally by sponsoring misleading information across parts of the borough under the ironically named banner of ‘Backing Bromley’ as we stated several weeks ago.

"Far more importantly than anything they have to say to your readers though, no matter how much they might attempt to misrepresent the facts, Bromley Council retains a long and proud record of delivering services that meet the needs of our residents.

"That will continue, despite the significant cuts being suffered to its budget by central government as part of their own efforts to close the national budget deficit.

"Wherever valid and substantiated concerns about local public services are raised we will, as always, continue to deal with the issues on a fact driven case-by-case basis.

"To date it should be noted that this group, which does not appear to have a constitution, has conspicuously failed to raise any issues directly with the council that the council isn’t already aware of, has dealt with already or is in the process of dealing with.”