UJS lobbyists deliver concerns to Westminster

By Marcus Dysch, February 10, 2011
Labour leader Ed Miliband meets students and UJS leaders in Parliament

Labour leader Ed Miliband meets students and UJS leaders in Parliament

Students from around the country united to call on the government and universities to do more to tackle hate speech on campuses.

More than 100 students attended the Union of Jewish Students' annual lobby day at Parliament last week.

John Mann MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, addressed lobbyists.

Students met their constituency MPs and encouraged them to pressure Universities Minister David Willetts and vice-chancellors to deal more effectively with extremism on campus.

Mr Mann said: "I know Jewish students will be good champions for their cause and an articulate voice calling for change. Hopefully, the government and higher education sector will work quickly to find a solution to this long-standing problem."

MPs signed an early day motion calling on university authorities to establish guidelines for dealing with campus speakers similar to those drawn-up by Manchester University.

Students later questioned Mr Willetts and shadow universities minister Gareth Thomas MP during a panel debate.

Mr Thomas said students must "all be able to enjoy an atmosphere free from hatred and intimidation".

Alex Dwek, UJS chair, said: "The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for Jewish students but we are not willing to give up our long-standing battle against hate speech.

"It is time for the sector and government to face up to their responsibilities. We won't be intimidated and harassed on our own campuses. The lobby day gave Jewish students an opportunity to make their voices heard at the highest levels."

Last updated: 10:47am, February 10 2011