Oxford college apologises for hosting Ken Loach

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Oxford college apologises for hosting Ken Loach

Professor Judith Buchanan, head of St Peter’s College, said she was sorry for the “hurt” caused by inviting the filmmaker to speak at a virtual event on Monday.

Ken Loach
Ken Loach

An Oxford University professor has issued an apology for hosting an event with a filmmaker accused of a “history of blatant antisemitism”.

In a letter to students, Professor Judith Buchanan, head of St Peter’s College, said she was sorry for the “hurt” caused by hosting Ken Loach at a virtual event on Monday.

The college had previously defended its decision to host Loach, arguing they did not engage in ‘no-platforming.’

Loach, who attended the Oxford college, has provoked outrage by downplaying and denying claims of antisemitism in the Labour Party.

He urged Bafta to reconsider nominating the Panorama episode featuring Labour Party whistle-blowers for an award and caused anger in 2017 at a fringe event of the Labour Party conference with comments about Holocaust denial, saying: “I think history is for us all to discuss, wouldn’t you?”

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, who spearheaded the campaign against Loach’s appearance, said: “Coming from Oxford University, this is an important line in the sand for any campus that considers rolling out the red carpet to individuals such as Mr Loach, who is on record downplaying antisemitism and claiming Holocaust denial is worthy of discussion.”

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