Thousands of protesters gathered in central London to demand that the UK Government take action on the cost-of-living crisis.

Welsh activists travelled to the city to join the "We Demand Better" protest, on buses organised by trade unions.

Crowds began a march from to Parliament Square at 12pm for a rally, with speakers including Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, which is organising the event.

The TUC says its research suggests that workers have lost almost £20,000 since 2008 because pay has not kept pace with inflation.

Banners reading “Cut war not welfare” and “End fuel poverty, insulate homes now” were carried by demonstrators. Others read “Nurses not nukes”, “Don’t get angry, get active” and “Free Assange”.

People in the crowd whistled, cheered and clapped as a blue flare was set off to mark the beginning of the march.

 

 

Becky Ricketts, president of the National Union of Students in Wales, has documented the day via social media.

"Conversations with folks on the coach are showing the level of frustration when it comes to the ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude of the UK Government, and concern around how we’re going to get through the months ahead," she wrote.

"People are solemn and fed up but ready to force change."

READ MORE:

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Burnout: Exhausted Welsh workers speak

'By any means necessary': TUC chiefs on the cost of living crisis and Westminster

This week Shavanah Taj, president of the Welsh TUC, told news outlet Voice Wales: "People are skipping meals and falling into debt because of their utility bills, and the UK government is telling them to simply get a job that pays more and buy value brands.

“The working class are the last ones responsible for this crisis and Boris is picking the wrong fight."

 

 

At the protest, loud music - including the songs 9 To 5, I Need A Dollar and Money, Money, Money - were played through speakers, as people sang and danced along.

Ben Robinson, 25, who works for a housing charity in Brixton, south London, and Frankie Brown, 24, a teacher, were at the protest.

Ms Brown said: “Every day I have got kids in my class who are going home to homes where they don’t have enough to eat.”

Mr Robinson said: “We’ve got residents who are coming into our offices who are choosing between feeding their own kids, not themselves, their own kids, and paying rent and heating, and that is just not a choice that anyone should have to face, you know, in the fourth biggest economy in the world.”

He added: “I don’t think there’s enough recognition in the Government, actually, how bad things are going to be and really are for people, real people who don’t have enough money.

“And the growing disparity between the very richest in society and the other 99% of people who just don’t have enough to get by, so hopefully this outlines that, but who knows?”

Additional reporting: Rebecca Wilks

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