100 MPs and peers write to Bristol University over Professor David Miller
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100 MPs and peers write to Bristol University over Professor David Miller

Letter organised by the parliamentary group against antisemitism accuses 'inciting hatred against Jewish students'

Letter sent by the APPG Against Antisemitism
Letter sent by the APPG Against Antisemitism

More than 100 MPs and Peers have signed a letter accusing Bristol University professor David Miller of “inciting hatred against Jewish students”.

The All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism  (APPGAA) raised concerns over sociology lecturer David Miller, after a Jewish MP urged the government to intervene yesterday.

This comes after Professor David Miller accused Jewish students of running a “campaign of censorship” on behalf of the Israeli government. He also accused communal institutions, including the Union of Jewish Students and Board of Deputies of working for the ‘Israel lobby’, and being “pawns of a racist regime engaged in ethnic cleansing”.

Writing to the vice chancellor, the APPGAA’S co-chairs MPs Andrew Percy and Catherine McKinnell, and vice chair Lisa  Cameron MP, accuse the Bristol University academic of “inciting hatred against Jewish students” on the campus.

Saying it has shown a “failure to act”, after the Bristol declined to take any measures  after meeting Jewish student leaders, the MPs and peers say Miller has “undermined the safety and security of Jewish students under the pretence of free speech”. They also criticise almost 200 academics who undersigned a letter defending Miller.

They accuse Miller of believing an “antisemitic conspiracy fantasy”, saying he has “brought your university into disrepute. You must now act before any further damage is done.”

This comes after Robert Halfon MP asked the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, to urgently make a statement on the row. The Harlow politician, who is also the chair of the education select committee, also wrote to the university’s vice chancellor.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the University of Bristol said it had “a significant number of emails and letters” over the row but it done “not endorse the comments made by Professor Miller about our Jewish students”. The university added  it takes antisemitism seriously but “equally, we must balance the rights and often wide-ranging views of students and staff with institutional policies and national law concerning academic freedom and freedom of speech.”

Among signatories to the letter include MPs and Peers from all major parties.

 

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