Amber Rudd calls Oxford students 'rude' for no-platforming her

6 March 2020, 14:48

Amber Rudd said she found the response "rude"
Amber Rudd said she found the response "rude". Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Amber Rudd has called some students at Oxford University "rude" after a speech about women in politics she was due to give was cancelled with just half an hour's notice.

In a tweet, the former home secretary said the decision was "badly judged" and "rude", and called for students to "stop hiding and start engaging".

She wrote: "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."

Ms Rudd, who also once served as minister for women and equalities, had been invited to speak about her experience as a woman in parliament at the UN Women Oxford event for International Women's Day.

But the decision to cancel followed a vote from students who were said to be concerned about Ms Rudd's former immigration policies, citing the Windrush generation as an example.

In a statement on its Facebook page, UN Women Oxford said: "Following a majority vote in committee, tonight's event with speaker Amber Rudd has been cancelled.

"We are deeply sorry for all and any hurt caused to our members and other women and non binary people in Oxford over this event."

Other MPs have since defended Ms Rudd, calling the decision "outrageous" and anti-democratic".

Bishop Auckland Conservative MP Dehenna Davison tweeted: "Outrageous. Academic institutions are where you are exposed to ideas you don't agree with, and where you can challenge them through rigorous debate.

"No platforming the former home secretary (and women and equalities minister!) is very badly judged."

Meanwhile, former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: "If you're trying to silence Amber Rudd you are being really anti-democratic."

Former Conservative and Liberal Democrat MP DR Sarah Wollaston said: "No platforming of Amber Rudd by Oxford is absurd and worrying.

"Why are universities allowing ideological fringes to crush freedoms of speech in our centres of excellece?"

LBC News has contacted UN Women Oxford for comment.

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