The Government faces a backlash from women at the next general election because of the way they have been hit by cuts in public sector jobs and services, a union leader has warned.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said women were in the "eye of the storm" over the coalition's austerity drive.

He told the union's women's conference in Brighton: "It will take more than a pair of wellies to protect David Cameron and his party from the voter backlash from women everywhere."

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Women made up two thirds of the public services workforce, relied on the services most and cared for the elderly, he said, adding that they had been hit by cuts to council budgets, affecting the work of home carers and women's refuges.

"So I am warning the Chancellor and his millionaire cabinet colleagues, that the backlash is coming."