This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
GOVERNMENT plans to “safeguard” free speech in universities would give free rein to Holocaust deniers, anti-vaccination groups and conspiracy theorists, Labour warned yesterday.
The party has confirmed its MPs will vote against the Tories’ “hugely divisive and harmful” Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill when it has its second reading in the Commons this week.
The National Union of Students also criticised the legislation — dubbed the “hate speech Bill” by Labour — as wildly disproportionate, pointing out it will leave institutions vulnerable to costly legal action from people making vexatious claims about censorship.
And a briefing paper on the legislation for Universities UK, which represents 140 higher education authorities, said there is “significant concern over what the unintended consequences” of the law could be.
Courts could become filled with “minor disputes, while incurring significant cost, time and reputational damage to universities, and ultimately detracting from their efforts to champion freedom of speech,” it said.
The Bill would also give university staff a new right to take legal action against universities if they believe they have been denied promotions because of their personal opinions.
Shadow education secretary Kate Green said ministers were wasting time helping people whose only aim was to cause division and spread hate.
“It is shocking that the Conservatives are introducing a new law to give Holocaust deniers, anti-vaxxers and people harmful to public interest the opportunity to sue their way to a platform at universities,” she warned.
A government spokesperson said the Bill would “allow the Office for Students to monitor and enforce freedom of speech measures at higher education institutions [and] introduce a complaints system and redress for breaches of free speech duties.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.