Protesters against the Israeli offensive in Gaza were escorted out of the Citadel in York by security for disrupting the city council’s annual budget meeting. 

Several people including former deputy leader of the council Andy D’Agorne stood outside the Citadel before the budget meeting on Thursday (February 22), some chanting and waving Palestine flags. 

After the Lord Mayor of York Cllr Chris Cullwick started the annual budget, one man inside the Citadel stood up and addressed the room.

He said: “How dare we call ourselves a city of sanctuary?”

He then cited Palestinian deaths since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. 

Cllr Mark Warters tried to intervene but could not be heard clearly before other protesters chanted “free free Palestine”.

Cllr Cullwick responded by saying: “This is a budget meeting of the City of York Council.

“It is only possible in the budget meeting if the speakers can address the items on the agenda.”

He said there are “opportunities” for members of the public to register to speak at full council meetings through the appropriate channels.

Another protester who started chanting from the back of the room was also escorted by security.

Other protesters filtered out of the Citadel as councillors started contributing to the budget meeting and continued chanting outside.