UKC Liberty Union have released an official statement following its suspension by Kent Union, with more condemnation coming from local politicians and other University of Kent Societies.
UKC Liberty Union have released its first official statement on the recent controversy around an anonymous leak of its public facebook group chat, which showed members of UKC Liberty Union making racist, antisemitic, and derogatory comments on topics such as the Christ Church Shooting, the Holocaust, and Kent Islamic Society.
The official statement states that the comments were “entirely misrepresented and taken out of context”, and that they do not represent Liberty Union and its members.
Liberty Union also announced that they approached Kent Union first about setting up an investigation into the alleged racism, and that the group are cooperating fully with Kent Union and giving full access to the chat in question.
The statement comes following a number of comments on the ongoing situation were given from numerous political societies at the University of Kent, including the Kent Labour Society, who condemned the comments made on the group chat, and the group has pledged to “no longer collaborate, promote, or attend events organised by the society”.
The president of Canterbury Christ Church’s Feminist Society, which had been in a social media dispute with UKC Liberty Union for several weeks, commonly trading critiques through numerous Instagram “Confession” pages such as the “kent.polir.confess” page, also gave a statement.
Via Twitter, the President referred to Liberty Union as “racist scum” and that while the findings of the leak were “shocking”, they were not surprising.
Local Labour MP for Canterbury, Rosie Duffield, also thanked Kent Union for suspending UKC Liberty Union, and in a reply to Kent Union’s twitter account, regarded the group chat posts as “very disturbing”.
Several academics at the University of Kent have also given comment on the recent leaks, including Dr Rose Parfitt, a Lecturer at Kent Law School and Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Law Department, who regarded the comments as “pathetic white supremacist ‘banter’”, which also critiqued an event organized by Decolonise UKC, a movement aimed at decolonizing the Curriculum for University of Kent degrees, which Dr Parfitt attended on the 20th of March.