A conservative MP was barred from speaking at a university by students who objected to his views on migration.
James Sunderland, the MP for Bracknell, said he feared “for the future of our students” after a planned appearance at the University of Reading was cancelled.
An undergraduate representing Reading University Politics Association told him in an email: “Having previously had such a successful event with MP Tan Dhesi, who’s the Labor MP for Slough and having many students from across the university thanking us for bringing an MP that quote, ‘ looks like them’, we feel it would be inappropriate to bring in somebody whose views immigration conflict with the ethos of the society.”
Mr Sunderland, MP for Bracknell and a former Army Colonel, said: “I thought about it and thought it was outrageous and shocking. Not only the language being used, but because it was clearly bringing attention to the difference in how I look as the white male with Tan, who is a great friend of mine from neighboring Slough.”
“I asked this individual who exactly he was. I said to him, can I ask please, who you are and what role you have at the university, because not only is your email discriminatory at best, it also runs contrary to the principles of your own group.”
“I told him that the society is a great opportunity to join a community of open-minded individuals and for you to connect with and learn more about different aspects of politics.”
The MP told GB News: “He came back to me and said that he was the elected President of the student-run body affiliated with the Students Union, not the wider University. And then I said to him, afterwards, how appalled I was with the language.
I told him how insulted I felt personally, as a former Army Colonel, who has given 27 years of regular service to my country, served eight operational tools and who commanded the largest and most diverse unit in the British Army.
“If this is what we are seeing from universities these days. If universities are tolerating this kind of behaviour, and this kind of language I really fear for the future of our students.”
A spokesperson for Reading University said:The University has a long and proud history of encouraging debate and discussion. We welcome people of all backgrounds and political viewpoints to our campuses.”