Professor called woke students 'pathetic' and faces investigation
University professor who called students ‘pathetic’ over woke walkout is barred from duty and faces investigation
- Professor Tim Luckhurst, principal of Durham’s South College is being investigated and has been barried from duties
- It comes after he branded a walkout during a Rod Liddle speech by woke students ‘pathetic’
- Students wrote to Durham’s vice-chancellor claiming Liddle made ‘transphobic, sexist, racist and classist remarks’
A university head is under investigation and has been barred from duties after branding a walkout by woke students ‘pathetic’.
Professor Tim Luckhurst, principal of Durham’s South College, made the remark when youngsters staged a walkout during a speech by Right-wing journalist Rod Liddle.
Following an outcry, Professor Luckhurst emailed students to apologise – but the university has launched an investigation into his conduct.
It is understood he is not allowed to speak to anybody about the controversy, and was did not make a scheduled campus speech last night.
Professor Tim Luckhurst (pictured), principal of Durham’s South College, branding a walkout by woke students ‘pathetic’
He has also been barred from attending a university business trip in America.
Liddle, the associate editor of the Spectator, started his speech at a college formal last Friday night by joking that he was disappointed not to see any sex workers, referring to a recent controversy over safety training provided by the university to students working in the sex industry.
He also said the Left were ignoring science over transgender issues, that colonialism was not the main cause of Africa’s problems and the underachievement of pupils of Caribbean descent had nothing to do with institutional racism.
The youngsters staged a walkout during a speech by Right-wing journalist Rod Liddle (pictured)
After the speech, students shouted ‘disgusting’ and ‘racist’ at Liddle as he walked out of the venue. That evening, a Stonewall poster was stuck on the door of Professor Luckhurst’s office reading, ‘Some people are trans. Get over it!’
Students wrote to Durham vice-chancellor Antony Long, claiming Liddle made ‘transphobic, sexist, racist and classist remarks’.
The open letter, signed by more than 1,000 students, complained they felt ‘distressed’ and ‘emotional’ after his speech.
The university’s student union said Professor Luckhurst’s position was ‘untenable’ while the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said it was ‘appalled’.
Following the backlash, Professor Luckhurst emailed students on Sunday to apologise, according to Palatinate. The email said the students had ‘as much right to absent themselves from the speech as my guest had to make it’.
It added: ‘I responded to their decision by reminding the students that South College is committed to the defence of free speech. When they did not return to their seats, I called their walkout “pathetic”.
‘My anger reflected my sincere commitment to freedom of speech. However, I was wrong to describe the students’ action as pathetic and I apologise unreservedly.’
After the speech, students shouted ‘disgusting’ and ‘racist’ at Liddle as he walked out of the venue. That evening, a Stonewall poster was stuck on the door of Professor Luckhurst’s office reading, ‘Some people are trans. Get over it!’ Pictured: Durham South College
Professor Luckhurst added: ‘My guest’s topic was tolerance. He spoke about the importance of listening to alternative perspectives. He attacked nobody.’ Liddle told the Daily Mail last night: ‘He didn’t call the students pathetic, he called the walkout pathetic. I’m not racist and I’m not transphobic. I want a world where transgender people can live in happiness, dignity and equality with everybody else. I loathe racism.’
He added: ‘The main point of my speech was that I’m often wrong, and I know I’m often wrong.
‘We have to have tolerance of other opinions and doubt in our own opinions.’ Last night, Durham University said it ‘categorically does not agree with the comments reported from a speech given by an external speaker at this occasion, and is concerned at reports that the behaviours exhibited at the occasion fall short of those that we expect’.
A spokesman added: ‘We are looking into this as a matter of urgency, and an investigation into the circumstances is now under way.’
The Mail has tried to contact Professor Luckhurst for comment.
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