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Universities Minister discusses campus antisemitism in meeting with Jewish leaders

Sam Gyimah, who was appointed in January, met representatives from the Board of Deputies and UJS for the first time

    Sam Gyimah
    Sam Gyimah Photo: Twitter

    The Universities Minister has been briefed on issues affecting Jewish students by the Board of Deputies and Union of Jewish Students in what was his first meeting with representatives of the Jewish community.

    Sam Gyimah met Board president Jonathan Arkush and UJS president Josh Holt to discuss antisemitism, hate-speech and the disruption of events on campus.

    Mr Gyimah, who was appointed in January, said the talks on Wednesday had been productive.

    He said: “We discussed free speech, no-platforming and antisemitism on campus and I look forward to carrying on our conversation on these vital topics on the future."

    Mr Arkush said the meeting was a chance to set out the serious issues affecting Jewish students, “in particular how Jewish and Israel-related events are often targeted by protesters, and the issue of universities and student unions allowing hate-speakers on their campuses.

    “The Minister and his team are very concerned about these issues so we look forward to seeing what proposals are outlined by the government in due course.”

    Mr Holt said he drew the Minister’s attention to the need for universities to adopt the robust IHRA definition of antisemitism.

    He said: “We asked the government to provide universities with further guidance on the importance of upholding a no-platform policy for those that espouse hate-speech or incite violence, in balance with the need to champion free speech and debate within the confines of the law.”

    The Board’s parliamentary officer Joel Salmon also attended.

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