Did Ben Hunt storm out of an interview with KCL Radio?

A door can be heard slamming on the radio broadcast

KCLSU presidential candidate, Ben Hunt stormed out of a crucial debate on KCL radio, it has been alleged.

On Friday, our presidential candidates took to the radio for a Q&A session. The three candidates, Kingsley Chukwu, Ben Hunt and Josh Woodcock, entered into some very heated debates, which ended in Ben Hunt walking out.

The argument was centred around Hunt’s policies on the Prevent legislation. Ben Hunt is an advocate for having Prevent removed from King’s and one of his pledges is “I will continue in fighting the Prevent legislation by protecting our societies in their right to have speakers on our campus, and make the external speakers policy properly accessible and useable”.

During the debate, Woodcock challenged Hunt on his Prevent policies regarding other extremist groups like the BNP and the EDL, asking whether, if the Prevent legislation was removed, he would be ‘happy with allowing them to come and speak on campus’.

Hunt, in response, stated that he wasn’t “speaking about No Platforming” and then accused Woodcock, who earlier made clear that he, too, wanted the Prevent legislation scrapped, of “deflecting the fact that people have been arrested” for researching and expressing their beliefs under the Prevent legislation and in no way answered the question proposed to him by the other candidate.

Woodcock then tried to counter Hunt’s accusation and Hunt became irate, saying to Woodcock, “I wish you’d stop interrupting me, I really do”. Then, on the recording, one of the invigilators can be heard saying “we need to cut to a break” and a door slamming in the background. From what can be heard on the recording and from what the other candidates have said, Ben Hunt walked away from the debate when challenged. The radio then cut to music for 15 minutes.

Upon asking Hunt for his side of the story, his response was “see my status please”, but when asked to elaborate further on the event, he replied with “I can’t comment on the matter any further. Thanks!”

Although claiming that he remained in the room and justified his policies, the radio recording doesn’t seem to back Hunt’s statement. The two candidates present at the debate also confirmed that Hunt walked out when challenged.

Woodcock told The Tab: “He picked up his stuff and stormed out”. He also explained that the former KCLSU president, Sebastiaan, followed Hunt out of the debate and had to give him “a pep talk to come back”.

Chukwu confirmed Woodcock’s allegations, saying that Hunt “said he was being harassed and got up and packed his bag. As he left, the former KCLSU President followed him”.

After the 15 minute break, the debate continued, but as Woodcock said “if Sebastiaan hadn’t talked him out of it 100 per cent, he would have not returned’. Following the break, the debate which ensued was much less heated.

Elections are open from Monday until Thursday, so make sure you vote. Last year, less than 30 per cent of the student body voted in the KCLSU elections, and as our student union, the student officers should be representative of our student body. The only way this can be achieved is if everyone uses their right to vote.