The protests are not an isolated event after the resignation of Sussex professor Kathleen Stock – minister Brighton News

A MINISTER says the ‘deplorable’ actions of protesters whose efforts led to the resignation of a university professor were not an isolated incident.

Kathleen Stock resigned as professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex in October last year.

The professor has been accused of transphobia for her views on gender identity, with a group of students campaigning for her to be fired.

The University of Sussex had previously said the institution would not tolerate threats to “academic freedoms”.

But Professor Stock said he announced his resignation after “an absolutely horrific time” – 18 years after joining the university staff.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said she found it “completely deplorable” that “balaclava-clad protesters forced an academic, Kathleen Stock, off campus under threat of physical violence”.

The minister added that it was not an “isolated event” because a few weeks later an “intolerant crowd” threatened the Israeli ambassador outside an event organized at the London School of Economics.

“We are not talking about peaceful protest here, the right of which is of course sacrosanct,” she said.

“We are talking about threats, intimidation and harassment.”

Ms Donelan said Policy Exchange polls had shown that 32% of academics identifying as right-wing had refrained from expressing their views in teaching or research, while around 15% identifying as politically centrist or leftist also said they self-censor.

Vice-chancellors, scholars and students should not “allow history books to record your name as part of the little cabal of the intolerant”, she said.

VCs need to “fight” for their staff and “put their money where their mouth is” on the issue rather than bow to the “intolerant few”.

The government’s free speech bill has been postponed until the next session of parliament.

Ms Donelan said she expects the House of Lords to have ‘a lot to say about this’, but that the Bill is less about what happens in Parliament and more about a ‘culture change that is happening’. will reverberate in the sector”.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-26 18:16:48

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