Universities Will Face Government Intervention For ‘No-Platforming’ Controversial Speakers
Universities which censor or “no-platform” controversial speakers will face government intervention for the first time in three decades, the Minister for Higher Education has announced.
Warning universities to end their “institutional hostility” towards infamous and unfashionable speakers, Sam Gyimah announced that the government will intervene where necessary.
The policy marks the first time any British government has defended free speech in universities since the Education Act in 1986 when the free speech duty was imposed upon universities, polytechnics and colleges.
The move follows attempts by student unions and activists to censor UKIP and Conservative politicians as well as a number of online personalities from speaking at universities.
Mr Gyimah said: “A society in which people feel they have a legitimate right to stop someone expressing their views on campus simply because they are unfashionable or unpopular is rather chilling.”
“There is a risk that overzealous interpretation of a dizzying variety of rules is acting as a brake on legal free speech on campus.”
Speaking exclusively to Kipper Central, UKIP Students Chairman Joe Simons said: “It’s uplifting to see the Conservative government standing up for free speech for once, in light of recent events regarding alleged fascist canines on YouTube.
“There are significant issues faced by student groups on campus when it comes to encouraging and partaking in fruitful debate and dialogue.
“I hope that the government responds to this accordingly.”