Attacks on firefighters doing their job have increased by a quarter in the past year, according to their trade union.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said there were 933 incidents involving an attack on firefighters in England, an increase of 194 on the previous year.

The union also highlighted figures showing the loss of 500 firefighting jobs in England in the last year, saying services were left "struggling".

It is taking fire crews 30 seconds longer to reach callouts compared with 2010, said the FBU.

General Secretary Matt Wrack said it was "despicable" that anyone would attack firefighters, adding: "Cuts by this Government have led to the demolition of community engagement projects, which are proven to reduce anti-social behaviour - investment in these services is urgently needed across the board.

"This weekend, families up and down the country will enjoy firework displays, yet there are fewer firefighters to keep people safe.

"Since 2010, this Tory Government's negligence means that fire crews are now likely to take 30 seconds longer to respond to an emergency.

"In a serious fire, 30 seconds can be the difference between life and death. The Government are playing with people's lives and must take seriously the need for investment and more firefighters in our communities.

"Last week the Chancellor announced the biggest spending spree this Tory Government has been on, yet not a penny will be seen by the Fire and Rescue Services who need it.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Being attacked should never be part of the job for emergency services workers, who put themselves in harm's way to protect us.

"That is why the Government supported the Assaults On Emergency Workers (Offences) Act which provides police and courts with effective powers to deal with those who use violence against emergency workers. The measures will come into force this month.

"Fire and rescue authorities have the resources they need to undertake their important work. Overall, fire and rescue authorities will receive approximately £2.3 billion in 2018/19."