Universities could be fined for banning transphobic speakers

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Jo Johnson, the Universities Minister of the UK, has repeated threats against universities that forbid platforming speakers with anti-trans views. Johnson threatened to hit universities with different types of sanctions, including financial ones, if they ban speakers with controversial views from taking a stand. He has doubled down on that threat in a new interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. “The Office for Students will have a range of remedies at its disposal which do include fines at the more extreme end of the spectrum. I think it is important that we look at the cases mentioned. These are speakers who have been potentially banned or harried under no-platforming or safe spaces decisions. On all reasonable definitions, they are advocates of openness and liberal values and should be welcomed on our campuses,” said the minister, emphasizing that instead of hiding from anything that could cause controversies students should learn to deal with such issues.

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