Nigel Farage’s controversial talk that was supposed to take place today on Friday 17th October, has now been cancelled amid a great deal of confusion.
The infamous leader of UKIP had been invited to speak at the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms by Professor Jonathon Haslam, a Professor of the History of International Relations. The theme of his speech was never made public knowledge but it had been organised on behalf of the Department of Politics and International Studies.
Given the controversial nature of Farage’s political views, two protest campaigns were quickly created when news broke of his intentions to speak in Cambridge.
One was organised by CUSU Women’s Campaign and was entitled ‘Cambridge say no to racism; no to Farage’. It aimed to raise their concerns over Farage’s and the wider UKIP party’s views on immigration, minority groups, women and working class people. It is currently unclear as to whether or not this protest will go ahead and there are no recent updates on the Facebook page.
The second campaign was external to the university and was created by Cambridge residents. Their protest of "Tell Nigel Farage (UKIP) that he is NOT welcome in Cambridge!" is still set to go ahead according to a Facebook post by organiser Anna Knight.
She said, “Due to the overwhelming response from you all joining and sharing this event, it has been confirmed that Mr Farage has turned on his heels with his tail between his legs and cancelled his talk at Mill Lane and will also now not be attending the Corpus formal! Good work people.
"However the protest will still be going ahead at the slightly later time of 6pm and at the new more central location of Corpus Christi College, to make it absolutely clear that UKIP has no place is Cambridge should he have the audacity to try and reschedule the lecture here in the future, that we will be waiting! And also perhaps to send a message to the Uni fellows that they might want to consider carefully who they choose to invite for dinner”
The mention of Corpus Christi College refers to a personal invitation that was extended to Farage to attend formal there. The personal nature of the invitation has been reiterated by the college, who have distanced themselves from involvement.
Official news of the cancellation came when the Cambridge University talk website listed the event as being cancelled/deleted. It is unclear from the page as to whether or not Farage will still visit in Cambridge despite the protests and cancellation.