Hundreds of people, including those from the York People’s Assembly, were planning to demonstrate the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos in one of the largest protests on campus for decades.
But today, in a fresh blow for freedom of speech, the UK Independence Party Society confirmed it would no longer be going ahead on December 2 after senior management invoked Article 10 of the University’s events policy.
A statement issued by spokesman Thomas Turton on the event’s Facebook page said that the society could not meet the criteria under Article 10 for stewarding – finding and training enough students within two days – and financial charges – they would have to pay the porter costs.
Speaking to York Vision, he said: “We are no longer involved with any attempts to host Milo. We wish the individuals the best of luck, and thank YUSU for their support.
“We hope that this does not distract from the issues of mental health, as behaviour on both sides of the debate has done.”
Journalist and entrepreneur Milo Yiannopoulos had planned to speak on campus about “militant feminism” and the recent anger over the University’s decision to cancel an event marking International Men’s Day.
But his decision to speak sparked a plan by over 400 people who were considering or going to protest his appearance on campus.
Jack Chadwick, the YUSU LGBTQ Officer, who was organising the protest, said on the Facebook event that it was not about “no platforming”.
York Vision understands that fresh ideas have been raised to have the event go ahead at an off-campus location.
Third year politics student Matthew Edwards is heading up the plans which could pave the way for Milo to speak in January.
A separate Facebook group called “Milo Yiannopoulos at York” specifically set up at aiming to get Milo to speak in York is also involved.
The University has been contacted for comment.