Petition calls for sacking of lecturer named on leaked BNP members' list

Birmingham Conservatoire academic denies links to 'extreme groups'. Melanie Newman writes

March 12, 2009

An anti-fascist organisation backed by the University and College Union is calling for a Birmingham City University lecturer to be sacked after he was named on the internet as a member of the British National Party.

The lecturer has denied that he is a current BNP member.

Unite Against Fascism has launched a petition calling for Andrew Glover, a visiting music lecturer at the Birmingham Conservatoire, which is part of the university, to be removed from his post.

Dr Glover's name was on a list of BNP members that was leaked last year and published on the internet.

This week he told Times Higher Education: "I have no connection with any political party, least of all extreme groups." Pressed whether he had ever been a BNP member, he said: "I am not a member of any political party and believe wholeheartedly in the diversity position held by my university. My research entails studying music from societies around the world, which gives me a love of many cultures. How can that make me a right-winger? ... For these extreme left-wingers to be baying for my blood is ridiculous. This is 2009. The way they demand things is former Eastern Bloc or Third Reich, not a 21st-century diverse Britain.

"This has all the hallmarks of a 1950s McCarthy witch-hunt ... Higher education is not a political football that Right or Left should be allowed to kick around, especially when innocent people such as myself get caught up in it. It is about time that we moderates reclaimed it and removed it from the extremists' agenda."

Unite Against Fascism and another organisation, Love Music Hate Racism, launched a petition headlined "No to Racism and Fascism in our Education System". A Unite Against Facism spokesman said: "Members of the fascist BNP should not be allowed into our education system. Students put their trust in lecturers and have a right to be taught by people who will not judge them as inferior because of their skin colour, sexuality or for any other reason. We demand that Andrew Glover be removed from his role at Birmingham City University."

Rose Mitchell, a second-year student who initiated the petition, which has attracted 300 signatures to date, said she had been shocked by allegations that Dr Glover was a BNP member. "He teaches students from all over the world. I don't have any evidence that he has behaved in a racist way towards students," she said, adding that the allegation that he was involved in a far-Right party was "very worrying".

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU, said: "Universities and colleges are rightly held up as examples to the rest of society because of their diversity and tolerance. The BNP has no interest in sharing those values and preaches only hate and fear."

A Birmingham City spokesman said: "A review is now under way after a series of public allegations. The university accepts that the political beliefs of its staff are a private matter - but we also want to make clear that if such views affect that person's work and professional relationships, then the university will carefully consider its response. The university positively promotes diversity and is proactive in tackling any kind of discrimination or prejudice on its campuses."

melanie.newman@tsleducation.com.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 10 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Business Development Officer YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Lecturer in Linguistics YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Associate Professor/Professor EDINBURGH NAPIER UNIVERSITY

Most Commented

Brexit, EU referendum

Joanna Williams voted Leave, and has been left disappointed by the academy’s reaction to the EU referendum result

Elly Walton illustration (7 July 2016)

Researchers in the liberal arts seem to have made it their mission to communicate in the most obscure fashion, says Zachary Foster

Daniel Mitchell illustration (14 July 2016)

Frank Furedi says the mournful mood on campus and the disparagement and silencing of Leave supporters betray an isolated scholarly class

Michael Parkin illustration (7 July 2016)

Rising immigration-related costs and lack of employer support send an unwelcoming message to international staff, says Jason Danely

Huge eyes peering through door windows

Some scholars claim plans are more about improving staff visibility to students than brightening corridors