Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


06 MAR 2018

Israel

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the Israel Apartheid Week campaigns.

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department for Education is reassuring:

Any discrimination or hostility based on religion or race is deplorable and there is no place for it in our society. Acts of hatred in any form will not be tolerated, and the Government is committed to addressing antisemitism wherever it occurs.
All institutions, including universities, have a responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive environment. All higher education institutions have a legal obligation for ensuring that students do not face discrimination, harassment, abuse or violence. Universities are expected to have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, and to investigate and swiftly address any hate crime and anti-Semitic incidents that are reported.
In 2015 Universities UK (UUK) was asked to set up a Harassment Taskforce to consider what more can be done to address harassment on campus, including on the basis of religion and belief. Last year, it published a directory of case studies detailing the innovative projects universities have developed to address the taskforce's recommendations. Further to this, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has provided £1.8 million for projects to improve responses to hate crime and online harassment on campus. In addition, the new partnership between the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education, which is providing nearly over £144,000 of joint funding for a new programme to support universities in tackling antisemitism on campus is welcomed.
Our universities have a proud history of encouraging freedom of speech and freedom of religion. However, there is no place in any education institution for hatred and no student should face discrimination, harassment or racism - including antisemitism.

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