Police were called after protesters stormed the public gallery at a Newham Council meeting and demanded better pay for refuse workers.

The incident happened after students from Manor Park Politics School had just finished presenting their ideas to the full council meeting on Monday (October 17) about how the borough could improve its school streets and were met with a standing ovation.

Protesters demanded the council and Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz listen to the plight of refuse collection workers, who have been involved in an ongoing dispute with the council over pay amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

One man who spoke out was met with a round of applause but was tackled by security.

Meeting chair Cllr Winston Vaughan demanded the man sit down and said the meeting would be adjourned for 10 minutes.

Protesters erupted into chants and could be heard shouting: “What do we want? Fair pay. When do we want it? Now” as Newham councillors fled the room.

Newham refuse workers from union Unite went on strike for a week at the end of August and for a further fortnight from September to October in a dispute with council bosses over pay.

The meeting resumed almost 25 minutes later as Cllr Vaughan addressed the public: “I just want to thank you very much for your cooperation in this matter. We had planned for it but we were hoping we would not have to find ourselves in this situation. So thank you all very much indeed.”

An additional 20 minutes were added to the meeting to make up for lost time.

Several motions, including one about the Silvertown Tunnel, were heard with Cllr Vaughan ending the meeting after almost three hours.

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “Police were called at 7.40pm on Monday, October 17 to reports of a demonstration at Newham Town Hall in The Broadway, Stratford.

“Officers attended and the group left the building. No offences were reported and no arrests were made.”