Malia Bouattia signs off as NUS president by shouting 'Free, free Palestine'


Malia Bouattia, the former students’ union leader whose bid for re-election ended in defeat this week, ended her farewell speech by shouting ‘Free, free Palestine’.

Ms Bouattia, who was elected president of the National Union of Students (NUS) in April 2016, was the subject of allegations of antisemitism during her tenure.

Before her election, it was revealed she had described the University of Birmingham as “something of a Zionist outpost”, arguing its Jewish student society’s leadership was “dominated by Zionist activists”.

Taking to the podium for a parting speech after losing Wednesday’s vote, she said supporting Palestine was one of the three most important campaigns of her time as president.

She said: “There are three campaigns which capture my time in our movement the best, and that I just want to leave you with, as I know they will continue to shape our movement and our work for years to come.

“Free and liberated education, liberation at the heart of everything we do, and free, free Palestine.”

In response Simon Johnson, the CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council, tweeted: “At the end of her farewell speech as NUS President, Malia yelled "Free Palestine". What diplomacy! I wish her a happy retirement. @UJS_UK

Ms Bouattia was defeated by Shakira Martin, the NUS’ former vice president of further education, by 402 votes to 272 from 721 ballots cast.

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