Galloway raises Harlem Shake sacking in Commons

Outspoken MP George Galloway has tabled an early day motion calling for a University of Oxford college to reinstate a library invigilator who was sacked for failing to stop students film an internet dance video in her library.

March 21, 2013

Mr Galloway, Respect MP for Bradford West, said that St Hilda’s College had suffered “a severe sense of humour loss” when it dismissed Calypso Nash for failing to prevent 30 students filming a “Harlem Shake” video on the premises.

The motion, tabled on 20 March, also criticises college authorities for penalising “at least some” of the students taking part.

“St Hilda’s College was named after Hilda of Whitby who was noted for her wisdom and good advice…the College authorities should draw on St Hilda’s wisdom in relation to this incident,” the motion says.

It urges the College to “think again, see the funny side of this, reinstate the librarian and withdraw the disciplinary proceedings against its enterprising students”.

At the time of writing, Mr Galloway was the only signatory of the motion. Even motions with several hundred signatures are seldom debated in the House of Commons.

The motion was tabled before St Hilda’s issued a statement clarifying that Ms Nash was a library invigilator who was given casual work by the college.

“Calypso Nash is a full-time postgraduate student at another college to whom we offered a small amount of casual work on an occasional basis as a library invigilator,” the statement says.

“The role of an invigilator is to maintain quiet in the library, or, if not able to maintain quiet, to refer incidents on. As this role was not performed, the Librarian decided not to offer Calypso further casual work. She has not appealed against this decision.”

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