UK anti-austerity demonstrations – as it happened

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in central London today for the biggest anti-austerity march yet this year.

The protest, called by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, will gather outside the Bank of England at midday before marching through central London to a rally in Parliament Square.

Police have closed roads and are expecting “substantial numbers of people” along the route, which runs from Queen Victoria Street and along New Bridge Street, Fleet Street, The Strand and Whitehall.

Protesters will be venting their anger at big spending cuts and privatisations planned by the Conservative government. They fear a plan to bring the national budget into surplus will have devastating effects on public services.

The government’s proposed measures are expected to include £12bn in cuts to welfare, a dismantling of human rights laws, limits on strike action and pro-business reform of public services including schools and healthcare.

The leftwinger and Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn is to make a keynote address, but the party’s other contenders – Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall – have indicated they do not plan to attend.