Extremist speakers ‘to be banned’ on campus in proposed counter-terrorism legislation

EXTREMIST speakers may be banned on campus after Theresa May announced plans for new anti-terror legislation last night.

The new Bill means that universities must put policies in place to deal with radical speakers, in accordance with government advice.

Universities will be put under a “statutory duty” to prevent individuals from being radicalized on campus.

If institutions fail to take into account Home Office directions, the policy will be enforceable by court order.

This is part of a package of measures that seeks to combat radicalization that May says is “taking place behind closed doors in mosques, homes and community centres, but also in schools, universities and prisons”.

On the threat of ISIL, May said: “There is evidence that as well as inspiring young Muslims to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight, they have given energy and a renewed sense of purpose to subversive Islamist organisations and radical leaders in Britain.”

KCLSU already has an “External Speakers Policy” in place to ensure that freedom of expression does not violate the safety of King’s students. This is currently under review.

The National Union of Students responded in 2011 to similar plans to ban non-violent Islamist speakers by urging against “wild sensationalism that only serves to unfairly demonise Muslim students.”

In 2011, a report by Universities UK found Universities to be dealing with such security matters responsibly, “alongside their obligations to protect and promote free speech and academic freedom.”

It is unclear how the details of this legislation will directly affect College policy at this time.

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