Victoria Atkins MP slams university ‘safe spaces’ in Parliament

Victoria Atkins (right) with Theresa May EMN-160627-151905001
Victoria Atkins (right) with Theresa May EMN-160627-151905001

Louth & Horncastle MP, Victoria Atkins, has launched a passionate attack against so-called ‘safe spaces’ in British universities, claiming that the concept ‘undermines’ freedom of speech.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), Victoria said: “Freedom of speech is a fundamental British value, which is undermined by so-called safe spaces in our universities, where a sense of righteous entitlement among a minority of students means that their wish not to be offended shuts down debate.

“As students around the country return to their places of learning at the start of this new academic year, does my Right Honourable Friend agree that university is precisely the place for lively debate, and that fear of being offended must not trump freedom of speech?”

Prime Minister Theresa May responded: “I absolutely agree with my Honourable Friend. We want our universities not just to be places of learning, but to be places where there can be open debate which is challenged and people can get involved in that.

“I think everybody is finding this concept of safe spaces quite extraordinary.

“We want to see that innovation of thought taking place in our universities; that is how we develop as a country, as a society and as an economy, and I absolutely agree with my Honourable Friend.”

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