Norwich students’ U-turn on UKIP speaker after petition calls for ban

Steve Emmens - UKIP's candidate for Norwich South

Steve Emmens - UKIP's candidate for Norwich South - Credit: Submitted

A UKIP candidate will speak at the University of East Anglia - despite the event being postponed in a row over whether he should be allowed to address students.

Steve Emmens, candidate for Norwich South, had been due to take part in a debate organised by a student society.

But it was postponed after more than 1,100 people signed a petition calling for the event to be rescheduled away from the UEA site.

But a statement from the Union of UEA Students today said: 'Following Thursday's decision to postpone the UKIP speaker event at UEA, the Students' Union management committee has conducted an investigation into the proposed UKIP speaker and taken representations from the society related to the booking and from a wide number of concerned student groups, university officials and external bodies.

'As a result on the basis of the risks presented, the union has resolved to permit the event with the UKIP speaker on the basis that it will require that the event includes clear debate and challenge to the views of the external speaker via an opposing speaker chosen on the basis of robust and fair challenge.'

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The union's management committee said: 'Following the postponement of the event on Thursday we are pleased to have been able to reach a solution that we think appropriately balances the right to freedom of speech on campus with robust debate and challenge. It is regrettable that some have sought to misrepresent this process as an outright 'ban' for political ends.'

A revised date for the event will be posted as soon as possible.

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