Campaign group Republic has branded the Clean for a Queen scheme a 'bad joke' and a 'patronising PR stunt.'

The group has pointed to huge cuts to local street cleaning services while the Queen has received a 38% increase in official funding since 2011.

Graham Smith, Republic's CEO, said today:

"We need to get away from this idea that we owe the Queen our gratitude.  This deferential, sycophantic nonsense demeans our country."

"It is particularly galling when we see local cleaning services cut, meaning an increase in litter, while the Queen's Sovereign Grant increases year on year."

"Perhaps the Queen could instead clean for the country, as a way of saying thank you for decades of privilege."

"This idea is deeply patronising, a bad joke, possibly the tackiest royal PR stunt since It's A Royal Knockout."

"The Queen's 90th birthday should be a time to think about the future, about our values and the kind of country we want to be."

"Picking up litter for a privileged monarch sends completely the wrong message about who we are and how we see ourselves as citizens, rather than subjects."