TALKS this morning have failed to stop a bonfire night strike by London's firefighters.

The Fire Brigade's Union (FBU) has added a third date on November 5 to planned industrial action in a row with bosses over their contracted hours.

Last year their were 224 fires on bonfire night, compared to just 66 the day before and 95 the day after.

The first strike, on Saturday, left the London Fire Brigade (LFB) claiming contractors brought in to provide the capital with fire cover faced violence and harassment at the hands of demonstrators.

Councillor Susan Hall, leader of Harrow's Conservatives and a member of London's fire authority, said the union was taking the capital back to “the dark days of Arthur Skargill”.

She said: “It's very disappointing that the FBU has put the fire fighters in this terrible position.

“Firefighters are proud of what they do, they understand their responsibilities and they know this is potentially the most dangerous evening in the whole year.

“I can only say that they will cope as well as they possibly can. I would hope that perhaps we will have the assistance from the police to keep our contractors safe and free from harassment.”

She said Asset Co, the company brought in to provide fire cover offers a “basic level of service” but cannot replicate the service of London's firefighters.

Matt Wrack, the FBU general secretary, said bosses want to run the fire brigade “as though it were a Victorian mill”.

He said: “We do not want to take this action but we have no choice. The alternative is to allow London’s firefighters to become doormats for their employers to walk on.

“The long term safety of Londoners depends on a well-trained, self-confident firefighting force.

“The chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman, issues calculated insults and says he’s ‘relaxed’ and sacking all of them.”

There were 49 incidents across London throughout Saturday, but there were no fires in Harrow or the north of Brent, the fire brigade confirmed.