Amber Rudd blocked from speaking at International Women’s Day event

Former minister Amber Rudd. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

Former minister Amber Rudd. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Former home secretary Amber Rudd has been blocked from speaking at an event for International Women's Day.

Rudd was due to speak at an event at a student union event at the Oxford University, but was blocked after the student society voted to cancel it.

It followed pressure from some students who claimed Rudd's immigration policies had marginalised minority groups, citing the government's treatment of the Windrush generation as an example.

The student society - purporting to support the work of UN Women UK - posted on its Facebook page: "Following a majority vote in committee, tonight's event with speaker Amber Rudd has been cancelled.

"We are deeply sorry for all and any hurt caused to our members and other wom*n and non binary people in Oxford over this event."

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The group had invited Rudd to speak about her experience of being a woman in parliament, while also promising an "honest and frank discussion" about the impact of her policies.

Rudd, who also served as minister for women and equalities, tweeted: "Badly judged & rude of some students last night at Oxford to decide to 'no platform' me 30 mins before an event I had been invited to for #IWD2020 to encourage young women into politics. They should stop hiding and start engaging."

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Following the decision, a number of current and former MPs came to Rudd's defence.

Dehenna Davison, the newly-elected Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland, tweeted: "Outrageous. Academic institutions are where you are exposed to ideas you don't agree with, and where you can challenge them through rigorous debate.

"No platforming the former home secretary (and women and equalities minister!) is very badly judged."

Former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson posted: "If you're trying to silence Amber Rudd you really are being anti-democratic."

And former Conservative and Liberal Democrat MP Dr Sarah Wollaston tweeted: "No platforming of @AmberRuddUK by Oxford is absurd & worrying. Why are universities allowing ideological fringes to crush freedom of speech in our centres of excellence?"

UN Women UK moved to disassociate itself from the student society after the story broke, while the university criticised the move too.

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