Universities: Freedom of Expression:Written question - 121648

Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Education
Universities: Freedom of Expression
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's policy is on the no-platforming at universities of (a) Al-Muhajiroun, (b) the British National Party, (c) the English Defence League, (d) Hizb-ut-Tahir, (e) the Muslim Public Affairs Committee and (f) National Action; and if he will make a statement.
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Al-Muhajiroun and National Action are proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. Membership is illegal and these groups should not be given a platform at universities.

Universities have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure freedom of speech, including for visiting speakers (under the Education Act (No 2) 1986). The government therefore, does not support blanket no-platforming of individuals or organisations who are legally exercising their right to freedom of speech; it is for universities to balance their legal duties on a case-by-case basis.

The government’s position on this issue has been publicly stated on a number of occasions.

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