Eyre’s and Jackson’s CUSU campaigns reprimanded by Election Committee

Matt Gurtler 8 March 2017

The CUSU Election Committee (EC) has released a statement stating that Daisy Eyre's CUSU presidential campaign has been suspended for 9 hours, starting at 11am today, following reports that a leaflet was circulated in Homerton which personally attacked another candidate.

Separately, Josh Jackson has been called in for a disciplinary meeting, after his campaign was deemed "unacceptably aggressive" by the EC.

Eyre's campaign was initially suspended for 12 hours after a complaint was lodged with the EC concerning a leaflet that had the words "Jack Drury is a lying Tory" written in red pen, in block capitals, on the back, along with the suggestion to vote "1. Daisy, 2. Re-Open, 3. Keir, 4. Jack".

In a Facebook post, the Elections Committee stated: "The EC emphasises that personal attacks of this nature are unacceptable and the Eyre campaign has had this reinforced with them. The EC wish to see this campaign fought cleanly and on policies, and will not allow such conduct."

However, having held a disciplinary meeting with the Eyre campaign, the EC has issued another statement announcing that the ban has been shortened due to "the Eyre campaign's complete condemnation of the activity and stated intention to take remedial action." Eyre will be able to resume campaigning after 8pm.

A student at Homerton confirmed that they had seen the presidential candidate campaigning in the college last night, getting ready to hand out leaflets in the bar; however there is no suggestion that Ms Eyre was aware of the fact that one of her flyers had been defaced.

Speaking to The Cambridge StudentEyre said "We are absolutely shocked and disappointed by the incident which came to light this morning. Writing this inappropriate and disrespectful remark on one of my flyers is entirely at odds with my campaign. I do not know where the flyer came from and I hope it was not from anyone who supports me. We have no evidence of the source of this defaced flyer and I entirely condemn it.

"I have always endeavoured to run a positive campaign and have enjoyed interacting with both of my opponents and their supporters. I apologise profusely for any distress caused, receiving such a leaflet must have been deeply unpleasant. I have sent a personal apology to the individual affected.

"Because we have no evidence as to where or whom this leaflet came from, I have asked that this campaign ban be overturned. This disciplinary action will not undermine my campaign, because my supporters are a group of fantastic people in whom I have so much confidence.

"We are taking our appeal to the Junior Proctor, and hope to be fully vindicated in our belief that our campaign should not be implicated in this act."

In a statement, CUSU's Elections Committee said that it "has ruled that Josh Jackson's campaigning thus far has reached the point of being unacceptably aggressive, and therefore disrespectful. We have therefore called Josh Jackson in for a disciplinary meeting. This is a serious sanction, but stops short of a campaign ban. EC reminds campaigners that they are expected to treat everyone participating in the election with respect."

At hustings for the role of University Councillor last night, Jackon was accused of defamation and slander by incumbent Umang Khandelwal. He repeatedly accused her tenure of lacking transparency and accountability, and tension was palpable as she corrected his pronunciation of her name.

Jackson commented to The Cambridge Student: "At the beginning of this election CUSU said that we were allowed to attack other candidates. Throughout this election I have consistently drawn attention to the record of inaction and lack of accountability.

"Umang has been University Councillor for a year yet has not communicated with JCRs, students or the media about anything she has done. The University Council needs someone who isn't afraid to speak up when someone isn't doing their job." 

He continued, "I haven't made any personal attacks but rather have used her own words from her original manifesto as well as drawing attention to a litany of unfulfilled promises. I have been repeatedly slandered by the media who are playing to racial stereotypes of the angry black man with a raised voice. Where other candidates are defended in the media I am attacked.

"However, naturally, I accepted the view of the elections committee and will follow the rules and their judgement."


This article was last updated on 08/03/17 at 18:25. Correction: Only one flyer is known to have been defaced – this article previously suggested that there were many leaflets, and this was inaccurate.