UJS President Josh Holt meets with Universities Minister Sam Gyimah MP

L-R: Josh Holt, Sam Gyimah MP, Jonathan Arkush and Joel Salmon

Yesterday the recently appointed Universities Minister Sam Gyimah met with Josh Holt, UJS President, in what was his first meeting with representatives of the Jewish community. Josh was accompanied by Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush and Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon.

Josh, Jonathan and Joel briefed Mr Gyimah on the various issues affecting Jewish students. Describing the meeting and the topics covered, Josh said:

‘We were glad to represent Jewish students to the Universities Minister. We drew his attention to the need for universities to adopt the robust IHRA definition of antisemitism, as well as our concerns regarding the recent protests at events hosting Israeli speakers.’

Josh also took the opportunity to ask for the Mr Gyimah’s support, adding: ‘We asked the government to provide universities with further guidance on the importance of upholding no platform policy for those that espouse hate speech or incite violence, in balance with the need to champion free speech and debate within the confines of the law.’

He concluded: ‘We were encouraged by the Minister’s willingness to hear our concerns and look forward to a continued productive and mutually beneficial relationship.’

Similarly, Mr Gyimah said: ‘Today was a productive meeting on free speech, no-platforming and antisemitism on campus and I look forward to carrying on our conversation on these vital topics in the future.’

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: ‘We set out for the Minister the very serious issues affecting Jewish students on campus, in particular how Jewish and Israel-related events are often targeted by protesters and the issue of universities and student unions allowing hate speakers on their campuses. The Minister and his team are very concerned about these issues so we look forward to seeing what proposals are outlined by the Government in due course.’

About UJS

We are the voice of over 8,500 Jewish students, spanning 60 Jewish Societies (J-Socs) on campuses across the UK and Ireland. We are traditional, progressive, cultural and spiritual; we come from the left, centre and right and can be found across religious and political spectrums.

Together we create and deliver powerful campaigns; fighting prejudice, advancing inclusion, and inspiring education and action on the issues that matter to us. 


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