Demonstrators opposing the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) brought a Havering Council meeting to a halt.

At least 70 protestors against the expansion of ULEZ gathered outside the town hall in Romford prior to a full council meeting on March 22 with megaphones, drums and banners.

Protestors came with a 3,200-signature petition urging the council to meet with campaigners and take legal action “against Sadiq Khan”, which was handed to the council’s mayor Trevor McKeever by Conservative councillor Judith Holt.

Events then took a turn after the mayor asked Cllr Holt to shorten her speech on the petition, causing protestors to storm out of the meeting calling for the council to “bring back democracy”, before a larger group tried to re-enter forcefully.

READ MORE: ULEZ: Romford councillors urge Havering to join legal action

A video posted on YouTube later that night appears to show the group – which included Piers Corbyn – walking into the town hall unobstructed by security who had guarded the door earlier that evening.

However, council staff standing in the stairwell leading to the public gallery refused to allow the increasingly angry group into the council chamber to address the meeting.

One particularly vocal protestor verbally abused a council officer and shook the chamber door before shouting allegations of corruption into a megaphone.

The council’s chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert and leader Ray Morgon then entered the stairwell to speak to the protestors, who left peacefully a few minutes later.

A Havering Council spokesperson said: “ULEZ is a very emotive subject and we know some people are very angry and upset about this being brought in by the Mayor of London.

“The leader has, however, set out very clearly the council’s position on this.

“It is everyone’s right to be able to carry out peaceful protest, but what we do not agree with is people being disruptive to get their point across.

“Sadly this was the case and they had to be ejected from the town hall, so that the scheduled business could continue.”

Cllr Morgon, who objected to the new charge last summer, has called on Mr Khan to “pause” his plans until 2026 so residents have more time to prepare.

Romford Recorder: London mayor Sadiq KhanLondon mayor Sadiq Khan (Image: Ken Mears)

But he argues a legal challenge is not a “prudent use of taxpayer’s money” for his cash-strapped council as it has a “low at best” chance of success.

Before the meeting began, anti-ULEZ campaigner Michelle Amato, 58, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she opposed the new charge as it would take away people’s freedoms.

She added: “I can’t walk or cycle, there are no cycle lanes where I live."

She argued that care workers travelling into the borough from Essex might change jobs to avoid the charge, putting additional financial pressure on care homes in the borough.

Gina Quarmby, a semi-retired Havering resident, said she attended the protest as she cannot afford to upgrade her car, which will be close to the ULEZ that is due to be introduced.

Met Police officers are understood to have attended after the protestors left the building but have not responded to a request for comment.

City Hall has announced a £110m scrappage scheme to support those having to get rid of non-compliant vehicles and Mr Khan has said the expansion will bring cleaner air to every Londoner.