KCL indicates that supporting certain contested viewpoints is a positive for promotion – probably in contravention of free speech law and the Equality Act
(1.12.23) There has been a row about King’s College London (“KCL”) requiring applicants for promotion to submit information about their activity to support the university’s “equality, diversity and inclusion ambitions” and, in a list of appropriate examples, mentioning “participating in equality, diversity and inclusion activity” such as Stonewall and other LGBTQ groups.
We have written to KCL asserting that it appears that:
- Disadvantaging applicants because of their viewpoints, or not wanting to express support for
organisations some of whose ideologies they, along with a substantial proportion the
population, do not agree with;
- Seeking information in order to put themselves in a position to do the aforesaid; and
- creating a situation where people who seek (or are likely to seek) promotion at KCL think they
need to visibly not dissent from, or even demonstrate adherence to and actively promote, an
agenda aspects of which they do not necessarily agree with,
are unlawful under obligations to protect free speech and to avoid discrimination against or
harassment of people with protected viewpoints under the Equality Act, which means that questioning aspects of Stonewall etc. ideology are now protected following the now-famous Forstater case.
Our letter to KCL is worth a read, and sharing with friends, as it addresses an alarming aspect of
contemporary university mores, and the principles it expounds will be widely applicable. BFSP, our sister site, is developing a detailed statement of this complex area of law and its implications, which we will share in due course.