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MP who wrote “chilling” letter to universities on Brexit should be sacked as Govt whip

by Steve Beasant on 25 October, 2017

The Liberal Democrats have written to Theresa May calling on her sack a government whip who wrote to universities asking for the names of those who teach courses on Brexit and the content of their lectures.

The party is also calling on the government to write to universities and make clear they are in no way obliged to provide the information requested.

It was reported today that Chris Heaton-Harris, a leading eurosceptic MP and a senior government whip, wrote to vice-chancellors at the start of this month asking for the names of any professors involved in teaching on Brexit and the content of their lectures.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson and MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, commented:

“This chilling letter could have come straight out of a dystopian novel.

“Conservative Brexiteers know they have lost the intellectual debate and now appear to be engaging in a witch-hunt.

“Academic freedom is vital to our thriving university sector and one of the cornerstones of a modern democracy.

“Theresa May must send a clear signal that this kind of behaviour by members of the government is unacceptable and sack Chris Heaton-Harris as a whip.

“The government must write to universities making it absolutely clear they are under no obligation to provide this information.”

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