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Parliamentarians write to Bristol University calling for action on Antisemitism

More than 100 MPs and Lords across seven political parties have signed a letter calling on the University for action on Antisemitism.

By Guy Taylor, Investigations Editor

More than 100 MPs and Lords across seven political parties have signed a letter calling on the University for action on Antisemitism.

Published today by The All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism (APPG), the letter addresses the University of Bristol's Vice-Chancellor, Hugh Brady.

The letter is targeted towards the University's handling of the recent complaints against Professor David Miller, who the APPG claim has been ‘inciting hatred against Jewish students on [Bristol’s] campus.’

According to the letter, the University's failure to act has ‘precipitated more heartache and fear for the young Jewish people you are supposed to care for, and others across the country.’

Since the incident involving Professor Miller on 13 February, an open letter supporting him has been signed by over 290 academics worldwide.

Today's Parliamentary letter criticises the academics who have, in the opinion of the APPG, ‘disgraced [their] professions, shaming themselves by signing a factually inaccurate letter, supporting a man who has undermined the safety and security of Jewish students under the pretence of free speech.’

It continues: ‘We, the undersigned, wish you to know that we stand against hatred. We want the young Jewish people at your institution and across the country to know that we do not accept this behaviour.

‘We know hate speech when we see it and we will stand together with them [Jewish students] to protect and salute the honour, dignity, and decency they embody and with which they have been conducting themselves.’

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The Union of Jewish Students yesterday confirmed that their own open letter condemning Professor David Miller's actions has been signed by over 600 academics around the world.

UJS and Bristol JSoc yesterday issued an update stating that their representatives met with Senior Management from the University.

A tweet from the Union of Jewish Students reads that ‘they told us they are unable to publicly condemn the abuse Jewish students are receiving, in order to remain neutral.’

The letter from Parliamentarians today represents a significant increase in pressure on the University to act against Miller, who has received criticism from Bristol JSoc, the Community Security Trust and other groups in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for the University of Bristol has said that they are ‘unable to comment on complaints made about individual members of staff.’

They last week explained that they had had ‘a useful meeting with Bristol JSoc and UJS’ and that they ‘are continuing to work with them.’

‘However, at the students’ request, we are unable to go into detail about the discussions.

‘We remain committed to making our University an inclusive place for all students, while also upholding our commitment to freedom of speech and to the rights of all our students and staff to discuss difficult and sensitive topics,’ the spokesperson added.

Featured Image: Twitter/APPGAntisemitism

What do you think of the University's handling of Antisemitism allegations?