Reigate UKIP candidate hits back at schools' 'anti-democratic' no platforming
Julia Searle, the UKIP candidate for Reigate in the General Election, has spoken out about the decision by a number of local schools and colleges who refused to invite her to take part in hustings events.
She was not invited to hustings meetings orgnised by St Bede's School, Reigate College , Reigate Grammar School and Beacon School.
This contrasts with Churches Together, who did invite Julia to both their hustings events in the constituency.
Julia said: “Surely schools and other educational establishments of all people should be in favour of free speech? It’s one of the basic tenets of British society and democracy.”
The Electoral Commission's Code of Conduct for Campaigners states that: ‘Campaigners are an essential element of a healthy democracy, and their right to put their arguments to voters should be supported and protected’.
Julia said: “Has democracy died in Reigate? Four educational establishments - Reigate Grammar, Reigate College, St Bedes and Beacon School have selectively decided to boycott my UKIP candidacy from being invited to local hustings”
“It is also a disgrace that all the other candidates standing - particularly Crispin Blunt for the Conservative Party - knowing this was happening, attended these events anyway and didn’t complain about the democratic deficit.”
UKIP is campaigning strongly on free speech and against so-called ‘political correctness’.
The manifesto specifically mentions the need for ‘freedom of speech on university campuses’.
Julia said: “I am saddened by the fact that a legitimate political perspective has been shut out of the debate at this critical time in our history. ”