Live Updates: Pembroke break silence over penalty for money-burning student

More information as it comes

conservative association cuca Facebook money burning newspaper Snapchat student press TCS The BBC The Guardian Varsity

10th February 

19.55 We’ve had reports that Pembroke Graduate Parlour have circulated this message:

“Hi all, Please be extra vigilant while in and around college for the next few days. Exercise judgement on overt display of college stash. If you see something suspicious or need help, the porters can be contacted on: 01223 ******”

19.25 Jimmy’s, a homeless shelter in Cambridge issued a statement:

“Here at Jimmy’s we have many volunteers, friends and supporters throughout the University and colleges and we are proud of our association, not only with the student body, faculty and staff, but to all who donate by whatever means, to allow an opportunity for individuals to come in from the streets. This incident is an isolated event and it is, perhaps, more important to focus on the fact that £20 would have provided up to 20 meals for Jimmy’s guests on any given day. Tangible support for those who need it most.

If you could like to donate money to the charity, you can do so here.

19.15 Pembroke Senior Tutor issues a statement to all undergraduates and graduates.

16.00 The BBC, The Guardian, and the Independent have also covered the story.

13.16 A university spokesperson told The Tab “We are aware of an incident that took place in the early hours of Thursday 2nd February 2017. This incident has been referred to the University’s Disciplinary process. We cannot comment further while this process is underway.”

12.30 Pembroke College finally release a statement. Pembroke, the college of the student whose actions in front of a homeless man have widely been denounced as deplorable, announce: “We are aware of an incident that took place in the early hours of Thursday 2nd February 2017. This incident has been referred to the University’s disciplinary process. We cannot comment further while this process is underway.”

06.00 The story is featured on the front pages of The Times and The Metro, and in other national newspapers. It headlines the front page of Cambridge News

The front page of Cambridge News

9th February 

22.41 Pembroke College close their Facebook page to comments, writing: “We have restricted comments on our Facebook page for a few days to allow a period of calm reflection about an incident by a student which has caused distress and outrage to many people. We are committed to respecting the rights and dignity of all members of our community. We expect our students to treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times, and take allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously. However, social media is not the most suitable media for every type of discussion.”

21.30 A petition is launched.

19.00 The Daily Mail publishes mother’s reaction to the incident, in which she calls the act “thoughtless and cruel”.

16.57 The Tab’s national site pick up the story and name the student, using multiple sources.

16.49 Guido Fawkes picks up the story and reveals that a “Scottish government spokesman says they are not ‘directly’ related. A senior Scottish government source confirms to Guido that they are “distant” relatives by marriage.

16.37 An event with Conservative MP Phillip Dunne at CUCA was meant to take place that evening, but it is announced it is not going ahead.  

15.37 The Daily Mail publish the story. It headlines the website for a couple of hours. The Mirror also pick up the story.

15.34 The Cambridge Student newspaper pile in, and in a dramatic way, reporting that the “Cambridge University Conservative Association has confirmed that the individual who is alleged to have burnt a £20 note in front of a homeless man on Bridge Street last Thursday is Pembroke student XXX.” In other words, CUCA become the first public, non-anonymous source to identify the student to the press.

15.12 CUCA remove photos of the student from their Facebook page.

15.00 Varsity take down the images that had been used without permission.

14.49 The Sun pick up the story, but do not reveal the name of the perpetrator. The story headlines the front page of the website.

14.40 It starts snowing outside.

14.23 Varsity publish a story suggesting the perpetrator’s name and college, which the Tab knew but decided to withhold. Citing “multiple sources”, Varsity claim that the perpetrator is allegedly the nephew of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Varsity also use photos from the Tab without asking for permission. Varsity did not wait to receive comment from the perpetrator.

13.48 Members of The Tab Cambridge team are contacted by reporters from the national press.

13.08 CUCA publishes following open letter to the Tab stressing that the perpetrator, who was a member of CUCA, had his membership revoked last week, when CUCA first heard about the allegations reaching the committee. The fact that the perpetrator was also a CUCA committee member is left out of the open letter.

The student attempts to light £20 on fire

12.40 The Tab Cambridge breaks the story and releases screenshots of the Snapchat story showing a student burning a £20 note in front of a homeless man. The perpetrator is revealed to be a member of CUCA, the Union and the Law Society, but is not named, for ethical reasons and in line with university regulations on naming individual students. The Tab, however, had already passed on the name of the perpetrator to the university authorities.