Students who were condemned by Home Secretary Priti Patel and Labour leader Keir Starmer for protesting against a speech by the violently racist Israeli ambassador have been cleared by their university.
In a letter to around 200 staff, bosses at the London School of Economics stated that they found “no evidence whatsoever of protestors having broken the law” when Tzipi Hotovely gave a speech there in November.
LSE staff members had petitioned for an announcement “immediately affirming our students’ right to protest on campus without fear of police investigation.”
The response was written last month but has only recently become public knowledge.
Isn’t this awkward for Priti Patel, who wrote the following:
Disgusted by the treatment of the Israeli Ambassador at LSE last night.
Antisemitism has no place in our universities or our country.
I will continue to do everything possible to keep the Jewish community safe from intimidation, harrassment & abuse.
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) November 10, 2021
There wasn’t any “intimidation, harrassment [sic – Patel can’t spell] & abuse” but Patel demanded a police investigation anyway.
The Metropolitan Police almost immediately responded by saying there would be “no investigation” – because no incident took place that required police involvement.
While we might object to some “no investigation” decisions by the Met (evening, prime minister!) I think most of us can agree that this was the right choice.
Starmer may not – he certainly didn’t at the time, when he tweeted the following:
This is totally unacceptable.
Intimidation and threats of violence will not be tolerated. https://t.co/tqxw24q4pk
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) November 10, 2021
This is a former Director of Public Prosecutions, remember.
It is not unreasonable to expect him to realise that there was no intimidation; there were no threats of violence.
It is reasonable to expect him to accept the decision of the police and that he was wrong.
But I haven’t seen any evidence of an apology to LSE students – from either Starmer or Patel.
So how about it, Sir Keir – and Priti? Which of you has the strength of character to admit you were wrong – and say sorry?