Essex University Students’ Union is due to vote tonight on whether to ban UKIP from its campus. The motion is being sponsored by a student who told his Facebook followers that he would like to send Conservatives to the gulag.
Students will get the opportunity to vote on the issue at 8pm tonight. The motion states that UKIP “holds a plurality of views, including racism, homophobia, and sexism.” It continues: “These viewpoints may negatively impact on Union Member’s feelings in regards to the Safe Space policy… As such, these views have no place on campus.”
One of the students behind the motion, George Johnson, uses his Facebook account to espouse hard line left-wing views. Last week he posted a picture of George Osborne with the comment: “bloody tories, we need to get rid of them all now! #sendthemtothegulags #buildabonfire #fullcommunismnow”.
He also supported a campaign to have the President of the Students’ Union sacked because she refused to fund coaches to a student protest in London last month. The protest ended in violence, after four arrests were made as the students, along with anarchist groups, tried to attack the Police.
Another sponsor Ruairi Hipkin helped promote a petition to “remove” Micheal Gove when he was Education Secretary. It read: “He is single-handedly wreaking havoc on the morale and practice of school learning, apparently unchallenged by anyone within his own party. Quite simply we urge you to get this misguided man to step down from government office.” He is a member of the Essex Labour discussion group.
Tom Bursnall, UKIP National Executive Member, said: “These students claim to be all up for free speech, until they hear something they don’t agree with. This is further evidence that the loony left are alive and well in the British education system.
“If the great unwashed spent as much time on their studies as they do trying to restrict the freedoms of others they would all get firsts.”
Although the Students’ Union does not have the power to prevent UKIP coming to parts of the campus run directly by the University, the ban would still have a significant impact. The party would be highly unlikely to be able to contribute to any pre-election hustings.
Tonight’s debate starts at 8pm.