Exclusive: Banned Union Member Running For President


Gabriel Latner, who was last month given a life ban from the Cambridge Union, is now running for the presidency of the institution, The Tab can exclusively reveal.

The student who was given a life ban from the Cambridge Union last month is now running for the presidency of the institution, The Tab can exclusively reveal.

Gabriel Latner, a second year at Peterhouse, was chucked out of the Union after refusing to apologise for comments he made to fellow speaker, Lauren Booth during the “This House believes Israel is a rogue state” debate.

He reportedly told Booth, a prominent journo and Human Rights campaigner, that he was going to “nail you to the fucking wall up there”.

Since the event Latner has had his ban withdrawn and his membership reinstated by the Union Committee.

The Tab can exclusively reveal that Latner plans to run for the Presidency of the Union in Easter term 2011.

Gabriel Latner addresses the Union earlier this term. Photo by Stephen Tordoff.

“I’m a fan of irony”, he told The Tab.

“The Chamber has become a soap-box for unqualified, untalented, D-list celebrities to pontificate.”

“Anyone who thinks we deserve better should vote for me, because my top priority will be improving the debates, and only inviting the best speakers to participate”.

Latner said he hoped he could bring a fresh perspective to the Union.

The Union is like Cripps Court. People on the inside think everything’s fine. But everyone on the outside can tell those buildings are ugly as sin”.

However, Lauren Booth, who is also Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, told The Tab she felt Latner’s standing in the elections was “an insult to the members of the debating union whose own rules he mocked and clearly has no respect for”.

“I would also like to ask James Counsell why he has re-instated this creature when his ban was supposed to stand unless I received an apology for his rude, drunken behaviour”.

Latner did apologise to Booth as part of the terms of his re-instatement, saying, “I spoke in haste, and chose my words poorly”, though only after the deadline set by James Counsell, the Union’s current President, and Booth did not accept the apology.

Counsell told The Tab, “I judged that the victim receiving an apology was of greater importance than sticking to an arbitrary deadline”.

When asked about Latner standing, the Press Secretary for the Union Alex Küng said “The current officership’s role is to ensure the impartiality of elections and to encourage as much participation in our democratic process as possible.”

“As such it would go against out rules to comment on the track records of members standing for election”.

Gabriel Latner will run alongside Francesca Hill, who sits on the current Union Committee, and Christian Gowers in the contest for the Presidency.

All members of the Union can vote in the elections this Friday, from 8am till 8pm, both online and at the Union.


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