‘I love UKIP but people at uni think I’m a racist and a homophobe’
They look at me all funny in the street
Beleaguered UKIP students claim they are wrestling with union anoraks to get their views heard on campuses, despite their rising popularity. Following a spate of bannings from fleece-toting apparatchiks, UKIP members say they face prejudice at different unis – especially when they try to form new societies. Now they accuse unions of being anti freedom of speech and other students of giving them dirty looks around uni. This comes after UKIP supporters at Trent tried to set up a society but were banned. It was finally green-lit after a union U-turn amid accusations of “being afraid of the democratic process”. Incensed Brett Rickles, 20, applied to start the new UKIP society and was shocked to be slapped down. The fresher said: “In Nottingham, UKIP actually topped the polls in the European Elections with 31.5 per cent so there are obviously big UKIP vibes in the area. “We filled the criteria for a new society and we got voted down which is out of order in my opinion.” He added: “It just looks like they’re allowing this because of the bad publicity as opposed to the principle.” The union overturned the decision which followed a similar incident at Derby Union where all UKIP representatives were banned from uni. And last year the NUS officially opposed the party (on the same day they failed to pass a motion to condemn ISIS – because it might be seen as “Islamophobic”) as Sussex considers a petition to ban members as well. Sussex fresher Harry Alexander said being with UKIP makes him feel unable to join in conservations about politics. The 19-year-old politics first year told Sky News: “If I was a student, it would be very easy for me to be left wing. “The problem stems from the moment you say you support UKIP. People assume you’re racist or homophobic. “Even wearing the badge around campus, people will give me dirty looks or end conversations with me once they see it.” UKIP boast 25 uni societies have been set up and our recent election poll put them at five per cent.