NUS Vice President shuns “toxic level of debate” in response to allegations
Richard Brooks has issued a statement via social media against allegations made yesterday
It was revealed yesterday that Richard Brooks, Vice President of the National Union of Students, had been secretly filmed by an undercover journalist allegedly planning to oust current President Malia Bouattia.
Bouattia has been one of the most controversial figures in student politics, after allegations of anti-Semitism made against her last year, and provoking several student union referenda surrounding NUS membership. Brooks was filmed apparently claiming responsibility as a key figure in the faction attempting to remove Bouattia.
However, Brooks has today issued a statement via social media on the matter. He addressed that there were difficulties between himself and the current President, saying “It’s no surprise to anybody who knows me, or has heard me speak publicly, that myself and Malia don’t see eye to eye on NUS or the future of the student movement.”
He also addressed his involvement in encouraging Malia to address the allegations of anti-Semitism, saying “As you will all know (and is on record) I have written blogs and signed letters pleading with Malia to answer questions from Jewish Officers and Jewish students. ”
Expressing his disbelief at the situation, he said “I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, but did I know they were lying and a secret journalist trying to frame me as some part of Israeli government conspiracy? Of course not.”
Brooks also denied claims of his collaboration with the Israeli embassy in order to oust Bouattia, stating “I have never met – to my knowledge – someone from the Israeli Government. I organise legitimately and politically within NUS’ structures to get the best outcomes for students’ unions as our members. ”
Most predominantly in his statement, Brooks hit back at “the toxic level of debate surrounding NUS and us as national officers,” arguing that national officers were not supposed to be attacking and defending, rather fighting for the rights of students unions.
The Tab contacted the NUS for comment and were issued the following statement: “NUS takes these allegations seriously. We are looking into them and, when we have all the information available, the behaviour of NUS officers will be reviewed and appropriate action taken.”