The Unite union has said that it cannot rule out disruption at this summer’s Olympic Games in London as a protest against the government’s service cuts and public-sector pension reforms. Len McCluskey, the union’s leader, said a campaign against cost-cutting in the public sector could include illegal protests which could greatly disrupt travel in London for visitors coming to enjoy the Games.

Mr McCluskey explained that the Olympic Games would provide a very public stage for his union’s grievances. He added that the general community and the unions had every right to step out in protest and that he was calling on members of the public to engage themselves in civil disobedience at a time when the world’s eyes would be fixed on the UK.

The union boss went on to say that industrial action would not be short lived and was likely to drag on for a long time. He said that any action was likely to include protests and single-day strikes.

Sayeeda Warsi, Tory chairman, condemned Mr McCluskey’s threat to cause disruption at the Games saying that it was disgraceful that the leader of a union would even contemplate protests at such an important time. She described the act as naked self-interest and demanded that Ed Miliband brought his union cronies to heel.

Matthew Hancock, Tory MP, said that union dinosaurs should not be allowed to have their way at a time when the UK would be at her finest. A spokesman for the Labour party said a time of national celebration was no time for civil disruption.