A Battersea councillor joined thousands of minicab drivers in a protest at TfL’s headquarters on Blackfriars Road this evening, in what has been the biggest ever demonstration of minicab drivers in the UK.

The protest, called by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain's (IWGB)United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD), is against minicab drivers paying congestion charges, which are due to be introduced in April and are expected to slash drivers’ take home pay by 25 per cent.

Hundreds of stationary minicabs blocked a large part of the Cut, Union Street, and Blackfriars Road.

Battersea councillor Maurice McLeod, who took part in the demonstration, added: “While I understand and support efforts to reduce congestion in London, this charge should be directed at the operators and not individual drivers. I call on TfL to reconsider this plan.”

James Farrar, chair of the United Private Hire Drivers’ Branch, said: “For minicab drivers this is emotionally devastating, and the only option they are left with is to work longer hours.

“This has a physical impact as drivers then spend more time in their car and it is emotionally damaging as they are stressed and isolated.”

There has been rising anger amongst minicab drivers that feel ignored over being forced to pay the charge.

Cab driver Mohammad Ali, who took part in the protest, said: “I work 50 hours a week and the only option I will have if they introduce this congestion charge will be to get another job as I can’t work any more hours.”

The protest took place between 4pm and 6pm and drivers have vowed to repeat the protest every Monday.