Oldham Council leader Cllr Arooj Shah sparked outrage by calling for a vote to end a council meeting early so that councillors and members of the public could "watch the Euros".

The meeting started at 6pm and was due to last at least three hours, clashing with England’s semi-final game against the Netherlands.

Cllr Shah said she "wasn’t a big fan of the game" herself but thought it was "important to celebrate big national moments".

But Shaw councillor Howard Sykes, leader of the borough's Liberal Democrats group, opposed the suggestion and said: “I think the public will be absolutely furious that Labour suggested this.

“Don’t get me wrong, I would love to go home and watch England. But the fact is we only have six full council meetings a year.

“I’m sorry, but people expect us to do our job. 

"Most people in Oldham borough don’t have the luxury of clocking off early just because they want to. I see no reason for councillors to behave any differently.”

The Oldham Council meeting on Wednesday, June 10

The Oldham Council meeting on Wednesday, June 10

Cllr Shah called for the meeting to end at 7.30pm, requesting opposition questions about portfolio updates to be conducted in writing after the meeting.

But Cllr Sykes argued that because there are only six voting meetings each year, she was "cutting the limited time" her opposition had to "hold the council cabinet to account".

Cllr Sykes suggestion to reject the proposed early end time or add an additional 10 minutes for council opposition motions was outvoted.

But the meeting was prolonged by a series of "registered votes" where each councillor has to announce their decision individually, put forward by Lib Dem councillor Sam Al-Hamdani.

The meeting ultimately ended at 8pm, just as the whistle blew for the match.

Councillors rapidly exited the chambers.