US university graduates stage walk-out during Mike Pence speech

Dozens of Notre Dame students have staged a mass exit as US Vice-President Mike Pence was about to speak at their graduation ceremony, in protest against policies "that target vulnerable members of the university's community".

The walk-out, which occurred just as Mr Pence made his way to the podium, included graduates and other members of the audience who felt that the university's decision to allow the Vice-President to speak were "an endorsement of policies and actions which directly contradict Catholic social teachings and values".

The criticism is notable as Pence is a strong evangelical Christian, and was raised a Catholic.

In footage from the ceremony, students can be seen walking in streams down the aisles towards the exit as boos ring out. It is not clear whether the heckling was directed at Pence or the protesting students.

Mr Pence did not reference the walk-out or the boos when he spoke, and even garnered some cheers during his address, in which he endorsed freedom of speech and free exchange of ideas - which he says are "waning on campuses across America".

Pence was invited to speak at the university's graduation after students demonstrated against President Donald Trump being asked to give the commencement address.

The walk-out was not overly disruptive, with the students who organised the protest apparently speaking to the university about how to leave the ceremony in such a way that they'd cause as little commotion as possible.