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 6 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

Head of Visual Arts UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE
Research Officer - Big Data for Better Outcomes LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in Oral Microbiology UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest