Well done to the Telegraph for reporting on Equalities chief comments on banning of pro-life and Christian societies at universities

Balliol College, Oxford. In 2017 the college banned the Christian Union from its Freshers’ Fair. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Michael Paraskevas under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balliol_College,_Oxford,_UK_-_panoramio.jpg
Balliol College, Oxford. In 2017 the college banned the Christian Union from its Freshers’ Fair. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Michael Paraskevas under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balliol_College,_Oxford,_UK_-_panoramio.jpg

Well done to the Telegraph for reporting yesterday (4 July) on the danger to freedom of expression in our universities caused by student unions’ attempts to ban pro-life and Christian societies from having a platform owing to “hypersensitivity.”

David Isaac, chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said that universities must not allow students to block such societies from having stalls at Freshers’ Fair or from hiring rooms for events.

“[Blocking pro-life and Christian societies] is not consistent with ensuring freedom of speech on campus, and the EHRC guidance makes clear it should not happen.”

David Isaac, Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

He said, “This is not consistent with ensuring freedom of speech on campus, and the EHRC guidance makes clear it should not happen.” He added that universities should be “bastions of debate and defenders of expression.”

It is pleasing to see the Telegraph reporting on this important issue. If the EHRC is saying that universities have a problem, then the issue needs to be taken seriously.

The BBC appears to be in denial about the danger to freedom of expression in our universities. There is no sign of this story on their website, either under their Family & Education or their UK news pages.[1] Last year the BBC published a Reality Check article which more or less denied there was a significant problem. But then they would, wouldn’t they?

 

 

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[1] As checked on 5th July at 11:30 BST.

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