NUS leaders hit back at accusations of “racism” in open letter

More than 300 NUS officers, student leaders and academics have signed an open letter slamming a report from MPs into anti-Semitism as an attempt to “delegitimise NUS, and discredit Malia Bouattia as its President”.

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Signatories demanded that the report be revised and an apology to be given to those who have been “vilified by the inaccuracies and partisan biases”.

This is in response to a cross-party investigation by the Home Affairs select committee into anti-Semitism in the UK that condemned the NUS for failing to take seriously a growing culture of anti-Semitism on campuses.

The letter criticises the committee for focusing its attention on the Labour Party and the National Union of Students “without providing any evidence that these organisations are responsible for the deplorable situation it describes”.

The report had also accused Malia Bouattia of “outright racism” after she described the University of Birmingham as “something of a Zionist outpost” back in 2011.

Signatories argue that Ms Bouattia had been “singled out” and depicted as the “source of anti-Semitism in Higher Education”.

They also said the report fails to mention any of the actions she and the NUS are taking to fight anti-Semitism such as the NUS’ anti-racism and anti-fascism campaigns.

Earlier this month, the University of Lincoln Student’s Union voted to re-affiliate with the NUS in a referendum after voting to leave the organisation back in May.

No members of Lincoln’s Student Union have so far signed the letter.