Lincoln SU threatens to split from NUS after ‘anti-Semitism’ row

Students from the University of Lincoln have joined several universities across the country in announcing a vote on its affiliation with the National Union of Students.

The referendum follows accusations of anti-Semitic remarks made by newly elected NUS president, and the union’s first black female Muslim leader Malia Bouattia.

During her campaign, Malia was accused of having referred to the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost”.

She has however defended this, stating she was taking issue with Zionist politics as opposed to the Jewish religion.

In her previous post as black students officer she has worked on the Why is My Curriculum White campaign and has opposed the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

She has also been accused of not supporting a motion condemning ISIS , but NUS claimed she disputed the wording rather than the principle.

Malia won 50.9% of the vote to become president, despite an open letter of concern from Jewish students.

Four University of Lincoln delegates at the NUS conference in Brighton this week have said they will push for a vote on disaffiliation.

Hayley Jayne, University of Lincoln SU President, said: “Myself and the three elected delegates from the University of Lincoln Students’ Union (ULSU), have been at NUS conference in Brighton for the past three days representing our 14,000 members.

“We are returning very disillusioned with the conference and a number of motions passed, as well as the international media attention that has surrounded the election of the new national officer team.

“We do not feel that many of the decisions taken are in the interests of our members in Lincoln.

“This has been confirmed by a number of messages and conversations I have had with our students who are concerned about the direction in which NUS seem to be heading.

“The ULSU Delegates of National Conference have asked me to request that our board of trustees hold a referendum of all of our members to ask them whether the University of Lincoln Students’ Union should remain affiliated to NUS.

“The Board of Trustees have confirmed this request, and so we will be holding a referendum in due course to determine the affiliation with NUS in the future.”

The SU is expected to confirm more information in the coming days.