The Prime Minister has called for “irreversible change” after branding British universities too “tolerant of casual or indeed systematic antisemitism”.
Boris Johnson was responding to a question by Andrew Percy MP in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Percy, who is the co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism, said: “Sadly, in my role as chair of the all-party group against antisemitism, the news is not so positive. We have recently heard from Jewish students who are suffering record antisemitic attacks on university campuses, including allegations of their work being marked down by their own professors. This is completely outrageous, and one would expect the National Union of Students to be on their side, but instead of helping the students it has been inviting somebody who is engaged in antisemitic conspiracy theories—a rapper—to a conference. Will the Prime Minister do everything in his power to ensure that campuses are a safe place for British Jewish students?”
Mr Johnson responded: “Our universities have, for far too long, been tolerant of casual or indeed systematic antisemitism. I hope that everybody understands the need for change—for rapid and irreversible change—but it is also important that we have an antisemitism taskforce devoted to rooting out antisemitism in education at all levels.”
We commend Mr Percy for drawing attention to this issue, and the Prime Minister for his commitment to tackling the problem.
The exchange comes shortly after Campaign Against Antisemitism published polling in its latest Antisemitism Barometer showing that a staggering 92% of British Jews believe that antisemitism in universities is a problem.
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected].