Civil liberties group calls for resignation of Prof Janet Hartley, 23rd January 2009

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From The Daily Telegraph
By
Alex Singleton 
 Last updated: January 23rd, 2009

A civil liberties pressure group has called for the resignation of Prof Janet Hartley, the academic responsible for banning Islam critic Douglas Murray from chairing a discussion tonight at the LSE.

Douglas MurrayDouglas Murray was disinvited from the LSE Photo: Martin Pope

Douglas Murray, who runs the Centre for Social Cohesion in Westminster, had been invited by Dr Alan Sked of the LSE’s Department of International History. Dr Sked told the Telegraph that Mr Murray had “never said anything objectionable” during previous speeches at the LSE, but said that University had recently experienced problems from “radical students” at the university, including the occupation of part of the LSE.

The decision to disinvite Mr Murray was taken by Prof Janet Hartley, the Pro-Director, Teaching and Learning, at the LSE. Mr Murray told the Telegraph that he would be willing to chair the event if reinvited.

Sean Gabb, the director of the Libertarian Alliance, which campaigns for civil liberties, condemned the LSE’s decision. He said that: “As a publicly funded body, the LSE should have a commitment to free speech. It is wrong that Janet Hartley has undermined this and, if Douglas Murray is not reinstated, she should resign.”