University of Lincoln Students' Union building
University of Lincoln Students' Union building
The Students’ Union speakers policy has once again been the cause of opt-outs by major local figures, preventing students from questioning their potential representatives (Photo: Gregor Smith)

A chance for University of Lincoln students to pose questions to the city’s parliamentary candidates has been called off after the Students’ Union refused to make exceptions on its external speakers policy.

The hustings, due to be held on Sunday 19 April, was intended to include candidates from all the parties – but as The Linc reported last month, some of the parties have expressed concerns about a policy which requires all guest speakers to “act within the law and the regulations set by the University and the statutes that those regulations are drawn from”.

In a statement on their website, the SU claimed the policy “is based on Charity Commission Guidance and is designed to protect free speech”.

The statement continued: “For some parties not to speak at the event when others were doing so would not be fair. As such, the decision to cancel the event comes in an effort not to exclude certain parties from speaking but to ensure no party is given opportunity or favour over another.

“We look forward to GE2015, wishing all candidates the best, and hope our students take the opportunity to be part of important decision-making here in Lincoln.”

A hustings held by Bishop Grosseteste’s Students’ Union is still planned for Monday 13 April, although the UKIP candidate has declined an invite to attend.

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