Defend Academic Freedom from Tory Government snooping

EURALLY

Our 3 Universities should be encouraged to undertake meaningful and vigorous research into Brexit as it will cause so many problems to the people of the Liverpool City Region

The Leader of the Lib Dems in Liverpool Cllr Richard Kemp has written to the 3 Vice-Chancellors of Liverpool Universities asking them to ignore a request from a Tory Government Whip to tell him who is teaching courses relating to BREXIT and what they are teaching.
In his letter to Professor Janet Beer (Liverpool University), Professor Nigel Weatherill (Liverpool John Moore’s University and Prof Gerald Pillay (Vice Chancellor, Liverpool Hope University Cllr Kemp says, “I know that you will agree with me when I state the simple proposition that academic freedom is vital to our thriving university sector and one of the cornerstones of a modern democracy.

We have suggested that Theresa May must send a clear signal that this kind of behaviour by members of the government is unacceptable and sack Chris Heaton-Harris as a whip.

I am now writing to you to point out, what I suspect that you have been advised which is that you are under no compunction to reply to this letter and further I believe that you should not do so. Our three wonderful universities in Liverpool need to rise above such pathetic Party Political points scoring and appropriately challenge any decision by any government, local or national, using rigorous academic research and procedures. I am in no doubt that in Liverpool all our universities will be doing just that”.

ENDS:
Cllr Kemp is available on 07885 626913
The full letter is appended here

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,

Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats,

16, Dovedale Road,

Liverpool L18 1DW

Richardkemp68@yahoo.co.uk

07885 626913

Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor, Liverpool University,

Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor, Liverpool John Moore’s University

Gerald Pillay, Vice Chancellor, Liverpool Hope University,

24th October 2017

Dear Vice Chancellor,

Academic Freedom and Brexit

It was reported today that Chris Heaton-Harris, a leading eurosceptic MP and a senior government whip, wrote to you along with all vice-chancellors at the start of this month asking for the names of any professors involved in teaching on Brexit and the content of their lectures.

Frankly, this chilling letter could have come straight out of a dystopian novel.Conservative Brexiteers know they have lost the intellectual debate and now appear to be engaging in a witch-hunt.

I know that you will agree with me when I state the simple proposition  that academic freedom is vital to our thriving university sector and one of the cornerstones of a modern democracy.

We have suggested that Theresa May must send a clear signal that this kind of behaviour by members of the government is unacceptable and sack Chris Heaton-Harris as a whip.

I am now writing to you to point out, what I suspect that you have been advised which is that you are under no compunction to reply to this letter and further I believe that you should not do so. Our three wonderful universities in Liverpool need to rise above such pathetic Party Political points scoring and appropriately challenge any decision by any government, local or national, using rigorous academic research and procedures. I am in no doubt that in Liverpool all our universities will be doing just that.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Kemp

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,

Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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