Students give Straw the thumbs down

February 19, 1999

Leeds University's decision to award an honorary degree to home secretary Jack Straw is being formally opposed by the student union there.

A student spokeswoman said the award to a serving politician inferred a level of support and patronage to a political party that was "unacceptable".

The award was also "extremely offensive", she said, to the university's many gay, lesbian and bisexual students who were subject to continuing discrimination as a result of the government's refusal to grant them equality.

The university said the award was a reflection of Mr Straw's personal achievements and not an endorsement of his political stance. Mr Straw is a graduate of Leeds University.

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