Tory MP 'uncancelled' by woke Reading University students in victory for GB News

Tory MP 'uncancelled' by woke Reading University students in victory for GB News

MP James Sunderland told GB News that he was "shocked" by the response from Reading University

GB News
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 28/04/2023

- 12:35

The MP was due to speak at Reading University before he was told he was 'no longer required' due to his views on immigration

Conservative MP James Sunderland has had his invitation to speak at Reading University "uncancelled" after he was dropped from an event because of his opinion on immigration.

The Tory MP was due to speak to the Politics Association at the Institution but his invitation was suddenly withdrawn and he was told his views on immigration were in “conflict with the ethos” of the students’ society.

Speaking on GB News, the former Army Colonel said he thought the response from the university was "outrageous and shocking".

Sunderland said that to his “complete astonishment” he had been “basically cancelled” after two months “nailing the date”.

James SunderlandJames Sunderland was due to speak at Reading University but was cancelled for his views on immigrationGB News

Speaking to Philip Davies and Esther McVey, he said: “I had an email from the guy who led the event to say that my services were no longer required.

"It said: ‘Having previously had such a successful event with MP Tan Dhesi, who’s the Labour MP for Slough and having many students from across the university thanking us for bringing an MP that quote, ‘looks like them’, we feel it would be inappropriate to bring in somebody whose views on immigration conflict with the ethos of the society’.

“I didn’t respond. I thought it was outrageous and shocking.

"Not only the language being used, but because it was clearly bringing attention to the difference in how I look as the white male with Tan, who is a great friend of mine from neighbouring Slough.”

Sunderland added: “As a former Army Colonel, who's given 27 years of regular service to my country, served eight operational tools and who commanded the largest and the most diverse unit in the British Army.

“If this is what we are seeing from universities these days, if universities are tolerating this kind of behaviour, and this kind of language I really fear for the future of our students.”

Now the students have reversed their decision and invited him to address them, while the university’s vice-chancellor has also pledged to investigate the “oversight of clubs and societies”.

Both the students and Robert van de Noort, the university’s vice-chancellor have since apologised.

A Reading University spokesman said: “We understand that in follow-up emails the student society made it clear the cancellation of their event was due to scheduling issues and concerns around low attendance of their members during the summer exam period. The society has therefore invited Mr Sunderland to speak at a future event.”

Outside of University of Reading

Both the students and Robert van de Noort, the university’s vice-chancellor have apologised


In a letter to the Conservative MP Prof Van de Noort said: “Freedom of speech and thought are in the very essence of university life, with the ability to test and debate a wide range of ideas and hear from many voices.

“This is a principle which the University of Reading community holds very strongly, and as Vice Chancellor, I have repeatedly sought to uphold and strengthen.”

He that “while I do not believe they were intentionally aiming to make political points in cancelling the event, I do agree that the way they expressed their reasoning and the language they used was poorly chosen.

“Let me add my own apology to you over this matter. I would have hoped that our students’ union politics society might have been more thoughtful in their communications with you”.

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