The funeral of rail union leader Bob Crow will be held on March 24, with the service being private, and a bigger event planned on May Day.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said Mr Crow's family have asked for the funeral service at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium to be private.

But trade unionists, friends and colleagues of Mr Crow, will be invited to line the route of the funeral procession.

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The procession, expected to include trade union banners and flags, will end at the cemetery gates.

The RMT executive said it hoped for a huge turn out at the annual May Day march in London to honour Mr Crow, who died last week at the age of 52.

Mick Cash, the RMT's senior assistant general secretary, said: "On behalf of Bob Crow's family, we are able to confirm arrangements for the funeral and commemoration of the life and work of our general secretary, whose death has rocked the trade union movement, both in this country and around the world, to its very core.

"The thousands of messages of condolence from every part of the globe are a testament to the courage, leadership and strength that Bob shared with so many people.

"Whilst Bob Crow's funeral itself will be a strictly private affair his friends and family recognise that many people will want to show their solidarity, respect and support both on the day itself and on May Day. These arrangements give everyone a chance to play their part."