Uni Minister David Willetts played a game of cat-and-mouse with protesters last night, as he tried to avoid them interrupting his talk in Cambridge.
Universities Minister David Willetts did his best to avoid protestors while delivering a lecture in Cambridge yesterday evening.
Willetts gave a lecture entitled: “The Coalition’s vision for Science and Technology” in The Babbage Lecture Theatre at the New Museum Site.
Cambridge Defend Education planned to demonstrate at the talk to express their anger over tuition fee cuts.
Students weren’t impressed with Willetts’ actions. Miles Curtis, the sixth former who was arrested in King’s last week, told The Tab: “If he had any integrity he’d come out and speak to us. I don’t think this Government will survive much longer and Willetts is the epitome of this.”
In addition to security guards, the entrance was also initially blocked by railings. But protesters, armed with drums, banners and an effigy of Willetts himself, soon stormed this initial barricade.
Protesters then spent the next hour trying to figure out a way to storm the lecture theatre. They managed to enter an attached stairwell, much to guards annoyance, but couldn’t get to the actual lecture.
Despite the failure to enter the room, most protesters thought the demonstration was a success.
Adam Booth told The Tab: “It’s good that we carry on putting this pressure on the Government, especially David Willetts as he’s the leading figure behind the fees.”
A King’s Professor, who wished to remain anonymous, also said: “The action of the Government is outrageous, it will have an absolutely negative effect not just on home students but also European students; they won’t come.”
Inside the hall, Willetts gave a short talk saying it was essential to develop the humanities alongside the sciences for business to flourish. Robin Farmer told The Tab that Willetts said the favouring of science under the new fees system “mustn’t lead to arrogance” on their part.
Once the talk finished, security tried to quickly lead Willetts away through a back entrance, but protestors spotted him and briefly mobbed him chanting “Tory Scum.”