As Parliament sat late to debate the Higher Education (Free Speech) Bill, Richard Holden MP defended the necessity of the bill to protect free speech in universities and academic debate.
For centuries the intolerant have sought to deny opposing views rather than argue against them. It is always a sign of weakness to seek to silence a speaker, forbid a thought, rather than debate.
Nowhere is this more worrying than in UK universities. Academics and students keeping quiet out of fear that they will be held back and othered. This too not just from a loud minority with radical views but from foreign government's like China, who through their students and their companies try to limit academic freedom. To stop this, the Government has put forward this bill.
During the debate Richard Holden MP, as a former advisor in the Department of Education, spoke with experience to support the Government bill. He hopes that its passing will say clearly 'enough is enough' to those who seek to stifle free thought and muzzle the academic debating tradition which makes UK universities some of the best in the world.