HUNDREDS of union members, councillors and campaigners from York and North and East Yorkshire joined the thousands of protesters in London marching against the Coalition Government’s spending cuts.

Conflicting reports suggested the march, thought to be the largest gathering organised by the TUC in 30 years, was attended by between 250,000 and 500,000 campaigners.

York Central Hugh Bayley MP, who was at the protests, said the march could not have helped but catch the attention of the Government.

He said: “The Government may say it is ignoring it, but every government watches the public mood very closely, and a march which brought about this number of people is bound to have an impact.”

Denise Craghill, Green Party campaigner, attended the march and said the atmosphere was very positive: “It went very well. It felt very, very big.

“It felt like we were part of something important, like it was the beginning of more protests.

“There were a lot of people there who didn’t go very often to that sort of thing and I think it will have inspired them to carry on protesting about these cuts.”

Although the march was largely peaceful, a minority of “anarchists” attempted to subvert the protest by clashing with police, smashing bank and shop windows and throwing paint, leading to 201 arrests.

Mr Bayley said: “I condemn them for trying to hijack an event with huge public support for their own purposes.”

Fishergate councillor and York Green Party leader Andy D’Agorne was also at the march, and he said national media coverage of the three hundred “anarchists” was not a true picture of the event.

Coun D’Agorne said: “I saw very little of the trouble.

“All of the march was very good-natured, apart from some lovely chanting around Downing Street.

“It’s inevitable on something like this that you will see people take advantage to make trouble, but that’s just 300 compared to a quarter of a million or more taking part in a peaceful protest.”

• A meeting of York Stop The Cuts will be held tomorrow at the Priory Street Centre at 7.30pm, to discuss next steps in the campaign.