THE leader of Newport council led the authority in apologising for how the Chartist Mural was demolished saying sorry for any hurt it caused.

Almost all members present for tonight’s meeting, including the Tories, backed the apology tabled by Labour’s Bob Bright, which came more than a month after the artwork was demolished.

Councillors were greeted by protestors from the Save Our Chartist Mural campaign as they entered the chamber.

The full city council meeting was originally called by Tory opposition councillors to discuss a motion calling for an apology over how the demolition was handled.

But Labour’s amendment to the motion tabled by leader Bob Bright went further, expressing the council’s “sincere regret to residents of the city of Newport regarding the handling" of the Mural's removal.

The amendment said the matter should have been handled more sensitively and that the authority was “sorry for any hurt this caused”.

Councillors backed the amendment with a show of hands, with only Cllr Noel Trigg voting against and no abstentions. The original motion was also passed.

Tory group leader Cllr Matthew Evans opened the debate saying the council had become a “laughing stock” and that the behaviour over the mural has shown a “complete lack of leadership”.

But Cllr Bright recounted how the history demolition of the mural was agreed in 2012 when the council was run by the previous Conservative and Liberal Democrat administration.

Cabinet member for resources Cllr Mark Whitcutt also alleged that the Conservatives were “recent converts to the Chartist cause”.

Leisure and culture cabinet member Cllr Debbie Wilcox took exception to offensive messages about the issue on social media, saying a comparison of the demolition to the holocaust was “crass and in very poor taste”.