The University of Cambridge’s Student Union has voted to hold a referendum over its membership of the NUS following the controversial election of anti-Israel activist Malia Bouattia as president.

Members of the CUSU voted during a five-hour council meeting for a referendum, backed by the Jewish Society and other students, on disaffiliation from the National Union of Students to be held.

The university newspaper Varsity said a motion mandating CUSU’s sabbatical officers to send a letter to NUS condemning anti-Semitism, and the other to mandate a referendum on CUSU affiliation with NUS was passed during the debate.

The motion was moved from specifically mentioning Ms Bouattia to claiming that the NUS has “structural problems with anti-semitism.”

In a statement after the vote, Jack May, founder of the NUS: Let Cambridge Decide campaign said: “The assembled representatives of over 22,000 students at the University of Cambridge have said in the strongest terms that they condemn the language used by the new President of the NUS.

“The coming referendum will now allow students to have their say on the NUS’s direction, and we encourage all students to vote on May 17th.”

Ms Bouattia was elected last month amid concerns from Jewish students about her previous comments relating to Israel such as calling Birmingham University “a Zionist outpost in British higher education.”