A LEADING York peace campaigner says opinion in the city is now "overwhelmingly" against war with Iraq.

Chris Fuller, spokesman for York Against the War, said: "There has been a mix of anger, horror and frustration at what is happening.

"Public opinion is massively against war."

About 500,000 people, including 1,500 from the York area, were expected to attend today's national demo in London.

Although, as coaches began to arrive in the capital, organisers were estimating that the the total number of protesters could top the one million figure.

Among the groups in London were York Students Against the War (YSAW), whose members yesterday lobbied York MP Hugh Bayley at the University of York.

YSAW member Greg Callus asked Mr Bayley if he would vote against action from the U.S. and UK Governments without UN authority.

Mr Bayley said he did not know what the terms of any vote would be.

Mr Callus also asked if Mr Bayley supported British involvement only under the UN.

"That is my view. I want a peaceful resolution. I do not want British military involvement without the democratic authority of the UN," the MP replied.

Other subjects Mr Bayley was challenged on included previous UK and U.S. support for Saddam Hussein and whether the British Parliament would vote on any war.

Afterwards Mr Bayley said he would be happy to debate the issues further.

"It is good to live in a society where people have the human rights to demonstrate and express their views.

"That is not the case in Iraq."

Anti-war protests were being held in York today, at Clifford's Tower from noon and St Sampson's Square from 1pm.

Meanwhile, peace campaigners were expected at RAF Fylingdales today. Local protesters said they hoped for more than 100 people at the meeting.

Tricia Griffin, from Fylingdales Action Network, said: "The feeling was that for family reasons we could not get to London, but we wanted to do something to protest.

"Once we started talking to people we realised there were lots of us in the same position," she said.

"Public feeling is gathering momentum so much. There's a huge groundswell of feeling from many people who have never protested about anything," she said.

:: The Green Party in York and twin German town Munster has issued a joint declaration against the war.

Updated: 10:32 Saturday, February 15, 2003