London universities criticised for censorship

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A new league table ranking the nation’s universities by their attitudes towards free speech has placed many of London’s universities in the lowest category.

The league was compiled by, a news website that campaigns for unrestricted free speech.

Universities including Goldsmiths, the London School of Economics, UCL, and Kingston University have been placed in the ‘red category’, meaning that they have ‘banned and actively censored ideas on campus.’

The Spiked league table decries the ‘no platforming’ of offensive viewpoints, where opinions deemed out of step with the consensus are banned from university fora.

Many student unions have responded to the league table.

Bahar Mustafa, the Welfare and Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths Student Union, defended denying a platform for people to expound offensive views and ideas.

In recent months various student unions have sparked fierce debate after shutting down debates on contentious issues.

Earlier this month students at LSE set off the fire alarm in an attempt to prevent the Israeli ambassador to the UK from speaking at the campus.

Similar disruptions have successfully disrupted debates on Israel at Glasgow University and Essex University.

The Spiked study argues that student unions are far more restrictive than the university authorities themselves.

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