Wed, 24 July 2024

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By Tobias Ellwood
By Ben Guerin
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Free speech row breaks out after Amber Rudd is 'no platformed' by Oxford students

2 min read

A free speech row has erupted after an Oxford University event with Amber Rudd was cancelled just half an hour before it was due to take place.

The former Home Secretary had been due to be interviewed on her work as a former minister for women and equalities to mark International Women's Day.

But the UNWomen Oxford UK Society, which had organised the event, announced it had been scrapped after a majority of their members objected.

In a statement, they said: "We are deeply sorry for all and any hurt caused to our members and other wom*n and non-binary people in Oxford over this event.”

It is understood their objections were also linked to her involvement in the Windrush scandal when she was at the Home Office.

On Twitter, Ms Rudd - who stood down as a Conservative MP at the last election - said: "Badly judged & rude of some students last night at Oxford to decide to “no platform” me 30 mins before an event I had been invited to for #IWD2020 to encourage young women into politics. They should stop hiding and start engaging. #FreeSpeech."

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg replied: "Free speech is the bedrock of a democracy and Oxford University ought to lead the way rather than being snowflake central."

Asked about the row, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "The Government is committed to ensuring our universities are a place where free speech can thrive.

"I believe there is already laws to ensure universities and other places actively promote and allow for free speech."

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