UWE Bristol statement

Issue date: 02 February 2018

“We are absolutely appalled by the conduct of a small number of attendees at a Students' Union Politics & International Relations Society talk this evening.

“It is our understanding at this stage that a small group of protesters broke into the lecture theatre where the event was due to take place via the back doors. The police were called and our security attended. We understand that these protesters were not UWE Bristol students and did not have tickets for the event. The police are now working to identify the individuals.

“Once the situation was calmed, Mr Rees-Mogg went ahead with his speech and was escorted back to his car after the event finished. Both security and the police stayed for event to ensure everyone was safe.

“We support the democratic right of free speech and peaceful protest. However, we strongly condemn the actions of protesters who disrupted normal debate and behaved in this way. There is no place for such action on a university campus or in a civilised society. We are delighted that Mr Rees-Mogg was able to speak and debate with our legitimate student body in a respectful manner. We would like to thank him for his composure and actions to defuse what must have been a challenging and unprovoked incident. We will work with the police to identify the individuals involved and take appropriate action.”

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