The Banned List

This is a list of some individuals who were banned from speaking at universities in the UK and Ireland or faced campaigns to silence them. Several are subject to multiple bans and not all bans are listed here. It also includes academics who were disciplined or dismissed by their universities for their views. Please email AFAF with any additions or corrections (click on the names for further information).

Emma Fox. March 2019. The University of Bristol cancelled a talk by Fox ‘on security grounds.’ She had been invited to speak to the Free Speech Society on Monday 25 March.  The Islamic Society and the Students’ Union  organised letters of protest and demonstrations were planned to take place outside the event. Fox is the author of the University Extreme Speakers and Events Report which contains the Extreme Speakers League Table in which Bristol ranks tenth.

Jordan Peterson. March 2019. Dr Peterson’s visiting fellowship at the University of Cambridge, where he was to give talks on the Biblical book of Exodus, was rescinded by the University as they felt he did not support their ‘inclusive’ values.

Joe Sim, Paul Gilroy and other speakers.  March 2019. A conference organised by the Centre For Crime and Justice Studies on ‘Prison Abolition in the UK’, due to be held on 22 and 23 May  was cancelled by The Open University after trans activists vowed to target the event over the group’s policy that transgender prisoners should be incarcerated separately from non-transgender female prisoners..

Chris Hill. February 2019. Dr Hill revealed that he had been suspended in spring of 2018 and was subsequently charged with ‘gross misconduct’ by the University of Central Lancashire for his criticisms of religious belief which included arguing with a student that the University’s multi faith centre’s £1 million funding would better spend on the maths department where he was a lecturer. He left  his employment by ‘mutual agreement’ after a legal challenge to the University’s actions. 

Mike Buchanan. February 2019.  A talk by the Justice For Men and Boys party leader on ‘Equal Rights for Men and Women’ was cancelled by the University of Winchester after 700 people signed an online petition calling for him to be banned because his party organised awards such as ‘Whiny Feminist of the Month.’   

Katie Hopkins. February 2019. Staff and students at the University of Exeter tried to stop the outspoken TV personality from speaking at the Debate Society. The talk went ahead but was picketed by students shouting ‘Fascists are not welcome here’.

Peter Hitchens. February 2019. The Students’ Union at the University of Portsmouth ‘postponed’ a talk Hitchens was to give on 12 February as his previously published views did not align with the LGBT+ celebrations planned for that week.

John Finnis. January 2019. Over 400 students signed a petition demanding that Emeritus Professor Finnis (77) be removed from his teaching at the University of Oxford because of his presentation of the religious view of homosexuality in a 1994 academic paper.

Noah Carl. December 2018. Over 300 academics engaged in the academic mobbing of a junior researcher demanding that his Toby Jackman Newton Trust Research Fellowship at St Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge should be revoked. They provided no evidence but merely criticised Dr Carl’s views.

Joanna Williams. November 2018. Students at King’s College, London tried to ban Dr Williams  from speaking at an ‘Endangered Speeches’ event because of  her well-known criticisms of the ‘#metoo’ movement, contemporary victim feminism and attempts to silence any debate around transgender issues.

Jenny Murray. November 2018. The host of BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour cancelled her talk at the University of Oxford History Society after students accused her of being ‘transphobic.’

Alice Weidel. November 2018. The leader of the far right  Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party cancelled her appearance at the Oxford Union after protests by the Oxford Student Union and others.

Rosa Freedman. October 2018. Students at the University of Essex called for Professor Freedman to be banned from speaking because she opposed the gender recognition act. She has been subject to verbal and other abuse from trans activists.

Heather Brunskell-Evans. December 2017. An event at which she was to speak at King’s College London was cancelled because of her concerns about children defining themselves as transgender, expressed on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze  ‘would violate the student union’s “safe space” policy’.

Nigel Bigger. December 2017. Over 170 academics from around the world wrote an open letter demanding that Professor Bigger’s ‘Ethics and Empire’ project at the University of Oxford be closed. Bigger was accused of being an apologist for colonialism.

Yaron Brook and Carl Benjamin (AKA Sargon of Akkad). March 2018. A masked gang attacked a Libertarian Society meeting injuring security guards. The reason for the attack was that Brook, the Chair of the Board of the Ayn Rand Institute was Israeli.

Germaine Greer. October 2017. Students at Cardiff University campaigned for her lecture to be banned because of what they claim are her ‘misogynistic’ views about transgender women.

Tommy Robinson. October 2017. Former EDL leader Robinson was banned by the Students Union from speaking at Oxford Brookes University because his speaking was a security risk. According to Facebook 130 students were to protest outside the meeting.

Hen Mazzig. October 2016. After speaking at a University College London Friends of Israel meeting, the Israeli activist and audience were trapped in the lecture room by what was said to be a ‘violent’ anti-Israel protest. The speaker and attendees were escorted out by police.

Peter Tatchell. February 2016: The NUS LGBT Officer refused to speak on a platform at Canterbury Christ Church University to discuss ‘Re-radicalising Queers’ unless the veteran gay rights activists stepped down. One reason she gave was his opposition to ‘no platforming’ of speakers.

Macer Gifford. November 2015. University College London Union’s (UCLU) a blocked Macer Gifford from speaking at a Kurdish Society meeting. Gifford had fought with a Kurdish Militia group in Syria.

Julie Bindel. October 2015. Banned from speaking on feminism at the Free Speech Society by the University of Manchester Students’ Union for her alleged ‘transphobic’ views which violated their ‘safe space’ policy.

Maryam Namazie. September 2015 The Students’ Union at the University of Warwick banned her from speaking at the Atheists, Secularists and Humanists Society because her views were highly inflammatory and might incite hatred.’ Namazie is a campaigner against Sharia and other religious laws.

Tim Hunt. June 2015. Nobel Laureate, Sir Time Hunt was forced to resign from his Honorary Professorship at University College London after a backlash online about what he subequently called his ‘silly comments’ about the trouble with girls‘ in laboratories during a speech at a conference in South Korea on 9 June.

Haitham al-Haddad. March 2015.  Sharia court judge, Al-Haddad, was banned from speaking at a ‘Discover Islam Week’ at the University of Kent because of his ‘misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic views.’ 

Brendan O’Neill. November 2014. Banned from speaking on abortion at the University of Oxford because he did not have a uterus.

Timothy Stanley. November 2014. Was to speak on the same panel as Brendan O’Neill but also did not have a uterus.

Nigel Farage. October 2014. The UKIP leader was invited to speak by the Department of Politics and International at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge but the talk was cancelled after student protests.

Thomas Docherty. January 2014. Professor Docherty, professor of  English and comparative literature and a critic of the marketisation of universities,  was suspended for nine months from the University of Warwick for offenses that included sighing and the use of irony.

Mohammed El-Nabawy.  November 2013. El-Nabawy was unable to speak at the Palestine Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London when a number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters (not students) stormed the meeting.  El-Nabawy is a representative of the Egyptian Tamaroud movement which played a role in the ousting of  President Morsi.

Mufti Ismail Menk. November 2013. Menk was banned from speaking at the universities of  Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester Liverpool and Oxford for his anti-gay statements.  

Helen Reece. October 2013.  Feminist academics at the University of Kent condemned the decision of the LSE Law Department to hold a  debate ‘Is Rape Different?’  on 30 October as part of its Debating Law programme at which Reece stressed the importance of questioning  the “strong consensus” that rape is different to other crimes.

George Galloway. March 2013. An invitation to speak at the University of Chester Debating Society was revoked when the Student Union upheld the NUS ‘no platforming’ ban on Galloway.

David Gale. March 2014. The University of Derby Students’ Union banned the UKIP Candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner from speaking as part of a ‘no platforming’ policy that included UKIP alongside  prohibited groups.

David Willetts. November 2011. The higher education minister was forced to abandon his speech at the University of Cambridge on ‘The Idea of the University’ when students protesting about fee increases stormed his lecture.

Nick Griffin. October 2011. The BNP leader was banned from speaking at the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin on the topic of ‘This House Believes That Immigration Has Gone Too Far.’

Rod Thornton. April 2011. Dr Thornton was suspended from his lectureship at the University of Nottingham for publishing a 112 page meticulously detailed account of the University of Nottingham’s actions in relation to the ‘Nottingham Two’ (see May 2008 below).

Dylan Evans. November 2009.  In what became known as ‘fruitbatgate,’ Dr Evans was subject to disciplinary sanctions by University College Cork for showing a female colleague an article on the sex life of fruit bats.

David Nutt. October 2009. Professor Nutt, head of psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol, was asked to resign as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) by the home Secretary, Alan Johnson. Nutt had argued that ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol.

Hicham Yezza and Rizwaan Sabir (The Nottingham Two). May 2008. A PhD student and a member of staff were arrested after the University of Nottingham alerted the police to their suspicious actions. They had downloaded the so-called  ‘Al-Qaeda training manual’ which was readily available for download on a US government website and also on Amazon.com.

Nick Griffin and David Irving. November 2007. Students and anti-racists tried to ban Griffin and Irving from speaking at the Oxford Union. They protested at the event forcing Griffin and Irving to speak from separate rooms.

David Colquhoun. June 2007. Professor Colquhoun had his ‘quackbusting blog’ criticising alternative medicine removed from the website of University College London after complaints from alternative therapists.

David Coleman. March 2007. Students at the University of Oxford campaigned to have Professor Coleman sacked because of his connection with the organisation he co-founded – MigrationWatch. Coleman is a leading expert on demographics.

Frank Ellis. March 2006. Dr Ellis was suspended by the University of Leeds for expressing support for Charles Murray’s arguments in The Bell Curve about differences in intelligence between races which campaigners said was outside of his narrow area of professional expertise.

Edzard Ernst. September 2005.  Ernst was cleared after being investigated for thirteen months over a complaint made by Prince Charles’s private secretary, Sir Michael Peat (22 September 2005) alleging a breach of confidence in publishing a draft research report. Ernst was the first ever professor of complementary medicine but was very critical of some alternative medicines, particularly homeopathy. He retired early in 2011 and his department at the University of Exeter was closed. 

Share Button