NUS boot election candidate over anti-semitism complaint

The Union of Jewish Students called the posts ‘deeply troubling’


The NUS have disqualified an election candidate following an anti-semitism complaint about social media posts described by Jewish students as "deeply troubling".

Zeid Truscott, a Bath University student and candidate for the NUS National Executive Committee, has been booted from the election following social media posts including suggesting ISIS' leader was trained by Israel and calling Israel a racist state.

After "failing to comply" with an NUS ruling over the complaint, the NUS' Chief Returning Officer announced that Truscott had been disqualified from his election. However, he did not make clear specifically what the reason for disqualification was, or the result of the ruling.

The returning officer said: "I will continue on your behalf to ensure that all NUS elections are fair, safe, accessible."

Truscott shared an article in 2014 suggesting that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was trained by Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

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As well as this, in 2018 Truscott published tweets declaring that Israel is a “racist, apartheid state… created through terrorism and ethnic cleansing”. He also tweeted opposition to the IHRA definition of anti-semitism.

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The UJS said it was “deeply troubled” by the posts, demanding an immediate apology from Mr Truscott.

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A UJS spokesman said: “The suggestion that Israel or the Mossad has trained ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is anti-semitic, echoes age-old anti-semitic tropes of Jewish world domination and has been used by infamous conspiracy theorist David Icke.

“Those who engage in anti-semitism should have no place in the student movement, let alone on NUS’ top policy-making body."

Truscott defended himself when the posts were revealed, telling the Jewish Chronicle: "This relates to a post in 2014 when I was 18… I have consistently fought all forms of racism including anti-semitism. I reject anti-semitism and I abhor it and will work with everyone who opposes it, to combat it.

"Since my involvement in the student movement, I have always tried to advocate for justice, liberation and amplifying the voices of the marginalised."

The JC also reported that he also accused critics of “trawling through peoples social media history” in order to “misrepresent their views”.

Yesterday, NUS conference voted to introduce mandatory anti-semitism training for all elected officers.

After the tweets were revealed, NUS investigated a complaint into Truscott, and made a ruling on the complaint.

Despite "being informed of the potential disqualification", Truscott failed to comply, and was disqualified from the election.

Jules Mason, the NUS UK Chief Returning Officer stated earlier today: "At the start of this year's conference you reaffirmed your commitment to fighting anti-semitism.

"As your Chief Returning Officer, I am responsible for ensuring that elections are not just fair, safe and accessible but with that they also follow the rules and abide with NUS rules and policy.

"As I mentioned in my accountability report yesterday, I have ruled on a complaint concerning anti-semitism. This concerned a candidate who was standing in this year's NUS NEC Block of 15 election.

"I and my deputies, as per NUS' election rules can issue warnings to and remove candidates from elections. Unfortunately, despite being informed of the potential of disqualification, a candidate has not complied with my ruling in respect to a complaint made about them concerning anti-semitism whilst a candidate. As a result, I have disqualified – Zeid Truscott – from this year's NUS NEC Block of 15 election. The candidate has been informed that they have been disqualified.

"Conference, I will continue on your behalf to ensure that all NUS elections are fair, safe, accessible and comply with NUS rules and policies."

The Tab has contacted Zeid Truscott for comment.