CITY Council leader Susan Brown said she was ‘outraged’ by the Oxford Union’s decision to invite a former adviser to President Trump to speak.

Steve Bannon’s appearance at the union on November 17 led to about 1,000 protesters gathering outside its building, in Frewin Court.

Councillors were told on Monday that the city council’s Christmas Light Festival had to be rerouted onto High Street, shutting it off for vehicles, as a result of the protests.

Ms Brown said, in a note given to members on Monday evening: “It does Oxford University’s reputation for diversity and inclusion no good at all to invite speakers from the far right to speak in front of a privileged few under the dubious guise of ‘free speech’.

“I am unimpressed that our hard-pressed police force was taken away from far more important [things] such as investigating crime in our city.”

Ms Brown added: “On behalf of the city council, I am doubly outraged that [the Oxford Union] chose the night of our Christmas Lights Festival to invite a divisive and unpleasant speaker, causing last minute changes to have to be made for safety reasons to children parading through our city.”

Over recent months, Mr Bannon, who was one of President Trump’s closest advisers, has praised Boris Johnson and the far-right activist, Tommy Robinson.

Mr Bannon said in August: “Tommy [Robinson] is not just a guy but a movement in and of himself now.

“He represents the working class and channels a lot of the frustration of everyday, blue-collar Britons.”

Mr Bannon added: “He is a force of nature – like Kanye [West] – not built to be managed.”

Before Mr Bannon’s visit, Oxford Students Stand Up To Racism said it risked ‘giving credibility to racism and fascism’. The union said it was a way of ‘critically questioning’ him.

Craig Simmons, Green group leader on the city council, said he wanted police to follow up investigations of alleged Bannon supporters performing Nazi salutes outside the union before the event.

He also asked Mary Clarkson, the city council’s board member responsible for the city centre, why the procession affected High Street on the day of the protest.

She said the Christmas Lights Festival was rerouted because of worries children taking part would have been ‘frightened’ to pass the protest. For that reason, the route was changed, at short notice.

The council thought the protest would have cleared by the evening, but by 5.50pm, she said, it became clear that was not the case.