Thank you to those who have contacted me about antisemitism and UK universities.
I am proud that the United Kingdom was the first country to adopt the IHRA's working definition, taking a firm stand against bigotry and hatred.
Also, I do not believe that public institutions should be taking a different approach to the UK Government with regard to foreign policy subjects such as Israel.
I welcome the Government’s action to stop public institutions imposing boycotts, divestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries and those who trade with them. This approach will ensure that the UK taxpayer is not funding separate approaches to foreign policy.
Public institutions should not be pursuing their own foreign policy agenda with public money. The Government’s action will also prevent divisive behaviour that undermines community cohesion. There are concerns that such boycotts have legitimised antisemitism, for example, Jewish university societies being threatened with bans.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Education with the following questions and will provide an update as soon as I have received a response:
1. How many universities in England have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism?
2.What action will now be taken against those universities which have not adopted it?