Race-row Tories told to drop university name

PROCTORS have ruled Oxford University Conservative Association can no longer use the university’s name or attend Freshers’ Week in October after a race row.

In June, we reported that two members of the association had been suspended for allegedly telling racist jokes.

A row erupted after electoral candidates were asked to tell “inappropriate” jokes during hustings for junior officer positions.

When asked to tell an offensive joke, one member made a racist jibe, including the use of an offensive term. After the alleged incident, the Conservative Party suspended two individuals.

A spokesman said: “People who behave in this disgusting and reprehensible way have no place in the Conservative Party.”

Now the university’s ruling body has got involved and effectively washed its hands of the association indefinitely.

Anthony Boutall, president of the association at the time, told The Cherwell student newspaper: “There was a great deal of noise at the OUCA hustings.

“I did not hear a racist joke, but it has come to my attention that something offensive was said.

“A disciplinary committee has been called and, while I do not have the power to prejudge its decision, I can give a personal pledge that if these individuals are found guilty, I shall use my powers to their fullest capacity, making it my top priority to ensure they play no further part in the association.

“I cannot reiterate strongly enough that OUCA has no place for racism and abhors and rejects all racial prejudice.”

Last night, the university confirmed the individuals concerned had resigned from the association.

A spokesman added: “Following an investigation about complaints of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by members of the association, we have taken the decision to withdraw the university name from the association and withdraw its right to appear at the Fresher’s Fair for the coming academic year.

“We strongly condemn any form of racism and discrimination and reaffirm our commitment to promoting good race relations.”

She added: “It’s not a permanent decision, but it’s not a fixed time penalty with an automatic right to get their old name back.

“They would need to re-register the society with the proctors and then demonstrate improved conduct over a period of time.”

No-one from the association or the Conservative Party was available for comment.

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