Student activists at Royal Holloway cause cancellation of invitation to Baroness Fox

In another, ‘you couldn’t-make-this-stuff-up’ incident, Royal Holloway’s Debating Society was bullied into withdrawing its invitation to Academy of Ideas Director Claire Fox, who had been due to talk about the principles of debating, by “no debate” student activists including their Students’ Union President, Maia Jarvis.

On the basis of Baroness Fox re-tweeting part of a Ricky Gervais comedy routine, Ms Jarvis alleged that Baroness Fox was “an advocate for hate towards trans people and publicly ridicules them”. AFFS has written to Royal Holloway’s Principal, Professor Julie Sanders, reminding her of Royal Holloway’s existing duty to take positive action when free speech rights are interfered with and asking her to make the relevant students apologise for the defamatory remarks they made, or face disciplinary action. We also pointed out the impact of the extension of existing free speech obligations to Students’ Unions, under the soon to be enacted Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act, is likely to have. See our letter here