Refuse workers caused a rumpus over a plan to ban meat from the menu.

Brighton and Hove City Council's Cityclean workers are used to a beefed-up offering at lunch with bacon butties and lashings of lamb top of the wish list.

So they were left horrified when caterers at the council's depot in Hollingdean, Brighton, decided to offer only meat-free meals.

The idea of “meat-free Monday” formed part of the Green manifesto before the party took control of the local authority in May.

The Cityclean depot was the first to introduce the change.

But managers have been forced to shelve the scheme immediately after the workers refused to let them give chops the chop for even one day a week.

One worker said: “As a result of potential grievances and general disgust at being told no meat would be served in the staff canteen, the policy has been abandoned and they will return to serving meat every day from now on.”

Central services cabinet member Jason Kitcat said: “We are not looking to force this on staff which is why we talked to union representatives before it was introduced.

“The idea is to find ways to get staff and people to talk about the issue.

“We will continue to keep having conversations with staff to find out ways forward.”

Meat Free Monday was launched in 2009 by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney as “a simple and straightforward idea to show everyone the value of eating less meat”.

It claims not eating meat for one a day a week can save people money, reduce the impact on the environment and help people live healthier lives.

Supporters include Sir Richard Branson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joanna Lumley.

A council spokesman said: “It's disappointing if the concept hasn't gone down too well.

“But we'll work to communicate the benefits better and work closer with the workforce in any future plans.”