Oxford

Oxford Union: MP pulls out of Katie Hopkins debate

Naz Shah and Katie Hopkins Image copyright PA
Image caption Labour MP Naz Shah pulled out of the debate at the Oxford Union after finding out Katie Hopkins would be taking part

A Labour MP says she withdrew from a debate at the Oxford Union after she found out far-right commentator Katie Hopkins was also invited.

Naz Shah was due to discuss no platforming on Thursday, but said she drew the line "at those who use their racism to dehumanise people".

President of the debating society Genevieve Athis said she was "very disappointed" Ms Shah dropped out.

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe was also at the debate.

'Hatred towards minorities'

Ms Shah said: "Since I was informed that Katie Hopkins will also be given a platform, I have decided to pull out of the event.

"Speaking at the Oxford Union is supposed to be an honour and a privilege.

"When such platforms become acceptable places for those that try to divide communities and drive hatred towards certain minorities, then such a privilege and honour is not for me."

Ms Athis said: "I think it is a great shame that instead of debating Ms Hopkins in our chamber Ms Shah has decided to not participate altogether."

In a video on Twitter Ms Hopkins said it was ironic that the MP pulled out of a no platforming debate.

Katie Hopkins was sacked from talk radio station LBC in 2017 when she said there must be a "final solution" in dealing with terrorists following the Manchester terror attack.

In the same year she lost a legal case against food blogger Jack Monroe after Ms Hopkins asked her if she "scrawled on any [war] memorials recently".

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites