Brian Alcorn walking away from lectern
Brian Alcorn at NUS Conference 2015
Brian Alcorn waits patiently for NUS Conference to resume (Photo: Gregor Smith)

Current University of Lincoln Students’ Union President, Brian Alcorn, is running for an National Union of Students (NUS) Trustee position at this week’s NUS Conference.

Judging by Twitter activity, people were expecting big things of him – but perhaps not as big as an entire shutdown of the conference, with staff threatening to walk out.

Delegates are not supposed to mention staff on stage, but Brian did just that when criticising the NUS for the “year they took to find a CEO”, and was promptly told to stop by the conference’s chair.

This was the second time conference had been stopped after staff threatened to “withhold their services” twice within just a couple of hours. After the first walkout, outgoing NUS President Toni Pearce told the conference: “I’d like to remind this conference of the number of speeches on this stage about solidarity with workers.

“If you want to shout at somebody about this event or organisation, shout at me,” she concluded.

The decision came despite the fact the CEO of the NUS is accountable to and appointed by the union’s trustees “for the effective management of NUS, implementing and achieving the objectives laid down by the Trustee Board, and for appointing suitable staff”.

Brian was allowed to resume his speech after a long pause, but did so to rapturous applause from the conference floor on both his entrance and exit.

Brian Alcorn walking away from lectern
Brian left the stage to widespread and continued applause from across the conference hall – for so long that the chair had to call an end to the clapping (Photo: Gregor Smith)

After his trustee speech, the next candidate also broke the rules by praising the staff, but still brought the conference to a halt for a third, albeit shorter, time.

Brian later apologised for his error on Twitter:

The results of the NUS trustee election have yet to be revealed, but will appear here as soon as they are announced.