University of Liverpool cancels mayoral debate

A debate between Liverpool's mayoral candidates has been cancelled at the University of Liverpool after fears of "potential disruption".

The debate that was due to be held on Thursday evening had faced objections to far right candidates from students.

Staff, student, and public safety had to be considered said a university spokesperson.

The British National Party (BNP) candidate described the decision as a bad day for free speech.

The university spokesperson said: "Due to the risk of potential disruption from various factions, which may impact on staff, student, and public safety at the event, the university has regretfully taken the decision to cancel tomorrow evening's candidates' debate."

Maev McDaid, president of the Liverpool Guild of Students, welcomed the move saying the guild did not want parties like the BNP to use "the university's resources to promote themselves and their message".

She added: "Whilst it is regrettable that students, staff and the wider community have lost an opportunity to hear from and question the other candidates, the prospect of a situation that we feel could have endangered our members has been averted.

"Our students are no longer being put in a situation where they may face harassment, abuse or violence."

BNP mayoral candidate Mike Whitby said: "It's a bad day for free speech. The people of Liverpool are being denied their right to hear what we have to say."

A full list of Liverpool's mayoral candidates can be seen here.

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