British Prime Minister Theresa May has taken a stand against campus censorship at UK universities, as she slammed ‘safe spaces’ as a “quite extraordinary” concept, in todays prime ministers questions.
May was asked a question by Victoria Atkins, the MP for Louth and Horncastle in Lincolnshire, who argued that “freedom of speech is a fundamental British value which is undermined by so called ‘safe spaces’ in our universities.”
This is where a “sense of righteous entitlement by a minority of students means that their wish not to be offended shuts down debate. As students around the country return to their places of learning at the start of this new academic year, does my right honourable friend agree… that fear of being offended must not trump freedom of speech?” she continued.
In response, May said, “I absolutely agree with my honourable friend, we want our universities not just to be places of learning, but places where there can be open debate which is challenged and people can get involved in that.”
“I think everybody is finding this concept of safe spaces quite extraordinary, frankly,” she continued.
“We want to see innovation of thought taking place in our universities. That’s how we develop as a country, as a society and as an economy and I absolutely agree with my honourable friend,” she added.
This is the first time in recent years that the debate around campus censorship has been brought up in parliament, as students prepare to return to university across the UK.
A culture of ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’ has become rampant on both sides of the atlantic, with students succeeding in banning figures such as renowned feminist academic Germaine Greer, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, and of course Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos over the course of the last academic year.
The prime minister’s condemnation of campus censorship will undoubtedly provide a boost to students attempting to challenge the culture of campus censorship propagated by left-wing student unions.