Hundreds of protesters have gathered at Portland Place in central London to demand action from the Government to combat the cost of living crisis.

The crowds will be marching to Parliament Square for a rally with speakers including Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, which is organising the event.

Ben Robinson, 25, who works for a housing charity in Brixton, south London, and Frankie Brown, 24, a teacher, are both 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.”

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” are being carried by some demonstrators.

Wandsworth Times: (image: PA MEDIA)(image: PA MEDIA)

A march in protest at the rising cost of living has just set off from Portland Place to Parliament Square.

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

Loud music, including the songs 9 To 5, I Need A Dollar and Money, Money, Money were played through large speakers, with those gathered singing and dancing along.

Signs and banners reading “Nurses not nukes”, “Don’t get angry, get active” and “Free Assange” could be seen.

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

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?”

Protesters at a rally in Central London to oppose the rising cost of living have criticised the controversial Police and Crime Bill which they fear could limit such demonstrations in future.

Ben Robinson, 25, called the Bill “draconian”, and said he hoped people would still come out to protest if it becomes law.

He told the PA news agency: “The fear for me is that these things aren’t going to be happening as often with the new Police and Crime Bill coming in, so I think it’s important to get out now while we’re allowed to.

“Obviously, I think people should still protest regardless of that draconian Bill, but to see this (turnout) today is amazing.”