Union officer abused by UKIP following event cancellation
Even Carswell got involved
A UEA Union Officer has received online abuse following the cancellation of a UKIP speech.
Postgraduate Officer Liam McCafferty was targeted by trolls following the Union’s announcement.
The event was originally cancelled less than 24 hours after being announced. But the Union has now allowed it to go ahead with UKIP having to face an “opposing speaker”.
The Union has not named the speaker but says it will provide a “robust and fair challenge” to UKIP Norwich South representative Steve Emmens.
Despite this choice to reschedule the controversial talk, Postgraduate Officer Liam McCafferty has been facing criticism online from some people including UKIP MP and UEA alumni, Douglas Carswell.
After sharing the Union’s official statement on Twitter, McCafferty received several threatening tweets from UKIP supporters.
Many pro-UKIP accounts have also been sharing a blog post about McCafferty’s background.
The blog post reveals that McCafferty was arrested at a Unite Against Fascism protest in 2010 after breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act and was ordered to pay a £100 fine.
This led some UKIP supporters to label McCafferty a “violent thug”.
Others have called him a “soppy student” and claimed he should ban himself from campus for “the safety of others”.
Liam said: “Whereas some have argued that the Union’s approach to the UKIP issue is mollycoddling, some of the vile personal abuse that I’ve received underlines why other students were concerned about UKIP’s presence on campus.
“The abuse included personal insults and suggestions like I should be ‘beaten to a pulp’.
“I am shocked and saddened that it is deemed acceptable for senior UKIP figures to engage in personal attacks against a representative of students, whatever your opinions on the matter.
“Regardless, the Union followed the correct procedure and did the right thing in pausing for a day and has allowed us to listen to all our members on both sides of the row, and our solution will now ensure that the event can go ahead in a way that ensures robust challenge and democratic debate.”
The abuse has led some students reiterate that UKIP should not be allowed on campus as they are a threat to students.
First year Film PhD student Jack Brindelli said: “UKIP have thrown their toys out of pram in a spiteful and often threatening manner, characteristic of their public school bullyboy mentality.
“Rather than showing themselves to be a mature political force, they have simply managed to prove they are little more than a vicious pack of tweed-wearing snipes. In any other context would have caused a scandal for cyber-bullying – particularly Douglas Carswell MP and his keyboard warriors on twitter.
“I think it’s been a disgusting stream of ad-hominem abuse and borderline slander, and I have no sympathy with them.”