Bristol

'Trans row' student attends Bristol University debate despite ban

Angelos taking part in a debate Image copyright Epigram
Image caption Angelos Sofocleous (far right) took part in the debate after attending as a guest

A student banned from taking part in a free speech debate at the University of Bristol over security concerns attended the event - and was invited on stage.

Angelos Sofocleous was told by the students' union his presence would cause a "high risk" of public disorder.

It came after the Durham University student had made Twitter comments some deemed to be transphobic.

Mr Sofocleous attended as a guest before joining the panel, the Epigram reported.

The university's student union said it was pleased the event went ahead safely.

The debate passed without any protest, according to Mr Sofocleous, who was critical of the student union for its initial safety assessment.

"The SU had misjudged their assessment that there would be protests or outrage because of my presence.

"The fact I turned up and nothing bad happened, not even a minor incident, just proves that the SU did not make a good assessment of me," he said.

He added the original ban was "unjustifiable".

Mr Sofocleous said he joined the panel after a vote was taken by attendees about whether he should leave the audience and sit at the front as originally planned.

In a statement, the University of Bristol's student union said: "We're glad to hear that the event went ahead safely.

"We'll be meeting with the [Free Speech] Society shortly to review what happened on the night."

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