Keith Shilson, student union president at Middlesex University, London, is fighting against a decision by management to suspend him from the college. Shilson refused to cancel a question and answer session with the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir under pressure from the vice chancellor’s office.
The student body had voted to oppose attempts to ban the group, which Tony Blair said he would proscribe following the 7 July attacks.
The National Union of Students (NUS) executive also recently voted to oppose Blair’s clampdown. Shilson said, “This is about free speech and the autonomy of student unions from university management. Since my suspension I have received hundreds of messages of support from around the country. This includes backing from NUS president Kat Fletcher.”