Universities are accused of helping promote an anti-UKIP massage amongst their students, a prospective Member of Parliament has claimed.
Alan Henderson, UKIP PPC, made the call after he and fellow Party activists were initially banned from a “freshers” event at the Heslington campus at York University.
However, after a plea to security guards, UKIP members were allowed to set up a table in another hall (far from other political groups, including the pro-EU group Europe First) but with “other pursuits”, next to the Sherlock Holmes and Dr Who Society.
Mr Henderson, who is also the chairman of UKIP’s Harrogate & Knaresborough Constituency, said a number of new students looking for a UKIP stand were told the Party was banned by the national Union of Students for being “a Fascist and racist organisation with no real political presence”!
After further protestation, Mr Henderson was told that despite UKIP having 24 European MEPs, the Party (at that time) had no Westminster MPs an therefore did not qualify?
In May, Derby University, which had placed UKIP on its “no platform” list, denied representatives from the Party from speaking to students ahead of the Euro elections.
In contrast, last month the National Union of Students refused to vote against a motion to reject ISIS (Islamic State) because it considered doing so would be deemed to be “Islamophobic”!
Mr Henderson said: “Whilst our views don’t sit well with those of the National Union of Students, they clearly do with a large proportion of the electorate, and that was amply demonstrated by UKIP wining May’s Euro elections.
“What was particularly galling about this episode was the fact that Europe First was allowed a place alongside the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties being represented at the event in the Politics Hall, despite the fact they don’t have any MPs, yet they were permitted to have full representation and a large stand with banners and posters in a prime location!”
UKIP North Yorkshire County Councillor David Simister, the PPC for Harrogate & Knaresborough said: “Sadly this is something we have come to expect and, as we get closer to next year’s General Election, we will see more of it.
“Only a few weeks ago we had the incident in Whitby, where a head teacher demanded the resignation of her chairman of governors, as he had crossed the floor from being an independent member of Scarborough Borough Council and joined UKIP.”
“Sadly this is just the tip of the iceberg”, added Mr Henderson. “I have found that schools are also actively discriminating against UKIP both in morning assemblies and in classes.
“It beggars belief that with Ofsted having recently censured schools for being too English and the need to have more exposure to ethnicity, that UKIP is unofficially banned from political debates.
“All I ask for is a level playing field, either be inclusive or don’t have any politics in schools or Universities at all! I shall be seeking clarification from Ofsted and from the NUS as to what their proposals will be.”