Oxford

Oxford Uni Harlem Shake: Galloway backs 'sacked' librarian

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Media captionAbout 30 students took part in a version of the internet dance craze

An Early Day Motion calling for the reinstatement of a librarian sacked after the filming of a Harlem Shake video has been put down in Parliament.

Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway's motion calls on St Hilda's College, Oxford, to "think again [and] see the funny side".

About 30 students took part in a version of the internet dance craze in St Hilda's College library in February.

An Oxford University spokeswoman said the college was making no comment.

The MP's office said the wording of the Early Day Motion stated that the "the College authorities seem to have suffered a severe sense of humour loss and as a result penalised at least some of the students involved... worse, the College librarian has been sacked as a result of this incident for which the librarian bears no responsibility".

'Excessive reaction'

Early Day Motions allow MPs to draw attention to a particular issue but very few are actually debated.

St Hilda's Junior Common Room (JCR) has already passed a motion demanding the librarian is reinstated.

JCR president Esther Gosling said the librarian had been sacked and up to five students fined between £30 and £60 after the video was posted on YouTube.

Image caption St Hilda's had suffered a "severe sense of humour loss", the MP said

She said the filming had taken place in the library shortly before midnight, insisting the librarian was not involved in organising the stunt and "couldn't have stopped it".

"We don't want to undermine the college authorities or decisions they make, but in this case we think their reaction is excessive and the dismissal is unfair," she said.

Ms Gosling said the college had told her they could not comment on individual staff matters.

Eleanor Bley Griffiths, of the Cherwell Oxford student newspaper, said the college had had a "sense of humour failure".

"The students recorded it in the middle of the night, on a Sunday for seven minutes.

"It was hardly disturbing anyone and doesn't seem to warrant someone being fired and £50 fines for the people involved."

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