Oxford students calling for Boris Johnson to be banned from his former college

Anti-Brexit protesters opposite the Houses of Parliament in Westminster after Jo Johnson left his br

Anti-Brexit protesters opposite the Houses of Parliament in Westminster after Jo Johnson left his brother's cabinet. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A student has started a petition attempting to ban Boris Johnson from his former Oxford University college, saying it is no longer an 'old boys' club'.

The petition calls on Balliol College to publicly condemn the prime minister for suspending parliament, remove his alumni status and to stop him from attending any of the college's events.

Harriet Lester, a PhD student, began the petition with fellow student Andrew MacGowans, after meeting at a protest rally in the city.

Lester said "everyone" at the college was appalled by the recent "political coup".

Asked if lecturers and other pupils were supportive of her petition, she said "everyone has been on board and they agree something has to be done.

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"There's been little resistance. But we have told the college, you're siding with the oppressor by not saying anything."

The petition was not about being for or against Brexit, but aimed to make people realise "things are changing; it's no longer an old boys' club (at Oxford), but a place which welcomes everyone," she said.

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Lester stressed that the protest that sparked the petition was attended by those with pro- and anti-Brexit views and people from across the political spectrum "including Conservative speakers".

"This petition is a way to bring dialogue," she added.

The petition says: "Balliol College's student body has consistently demonstrated its commitment to democratic values.

"We call upon its members to sign this petition in order to to put pressure on college administration to take definitive action in this matter."

The prime minister studied classics at Balliol College in the 1980s and was also a member of the controversial Bullingdon dining club at the time.

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