By Daniel Hunter

New business secretary Sajid Javid has said he plans to "significantly change" laws on strikes.

He said that strikes affecting public services will need the support of 40% of eligible union members, with a minimum of 50% ballots required.

Currently, a strike only needs a majority from those balloted, regardless of how many vote.

Speaking to the BBC, the new business secretary, said: "We've already made clear, in terms of strike laws, that there will be some significant changes... It will be a priority of ours.

"We need to update our strike laws. We've never hidden away the changes we want to make. I think it's essential to make these changes."

But unions criticised the plans, claiming it "will make legal strikes close to impossible".

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said: "This is a government not so much on the side of hard working people, but Britain's worst bosses - those who want their staff to be on zero-hours contracts, poverty pay and unable to effectively organise in a union so that they can do something about it.

"The government's proposals on union ballots will make legal strikes close to impossible. Union negotiators will be left with no more power than Oliver Twist when he asked for more.

"After five years of falling living standards, the prospects for decent pay rises have just got a whole lot worse."