POLITICAL leaders from City of York Council have backed calls to end a censorship row at the authority, which has now been rumbling on for more than a week.

Council leader Chris Steward has said he is unhappy with the way official video footage of a controversial meeting last Thursday was edited before it was made public.

Cllr Steward said: "I share a lot of the concerns raised about the editing. It wasn't something that I sanctioned."

The row blew up after York resident Gwen Swinburn was interrupted and asked to leave the council chamber when she was speaking in the public participation session, and footage of the incident cut out of an official video.

She was speaking about an auditor's report which criticised the way senior council staff were paid extra to run the council's trading company.

Cllr Steward has said that while there might be times when specific words or comments would have to be muted on a broadcast, he does not support cutting out large parts so it appears "like the comments were never made".

Deputy leader Keith Aspden said he wants "greater openness and transparency" and has asked staff to look again at their decision to cut out some of the footage.

Official responses from the council say they are taking legal advice on whether the video, but councillors themselves have still not been given an explanation as to why the edits were made.

They have pointed the council's own published webcast protocols which say filming can be only be edited if there is a legal reason - for instance if defamatory comments are made.

Green group leader Andy D'Agorne has asked for the explanation, pointing out that the council's own webcasting protocol says that information will be given out to political leaders if videos are edited.