Skip to main content

Universities: Freedom of Expression

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2413, tabled on 10 March 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of universities rescinding invitations from speakers; and what plans, if any, they have to reduce funding to universities when that happens.

Answered on

24 March 2020

The government does not support no-platforming of individuals or organisations.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has made it clear that he is concerned about the cases reported in the press where external speakers are alleged to have been no-platformed, students and their societies are reportedly having their voices restricted and academics are not able to pursue research projects. It is important that universities take robust action to prevent this happening.

This government has committed to strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities and ensure they are places where free speech and debate can thrive – this includes considering the underpinning legal framework. We have made it clear that if universities do not uphold free speech, the government will.