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Emily Dawes has officially stepped down as Union President

SUSU released a statement on their website this afternoon

Emily Dawes, Union President of Southampton University, has stepped down this afternoon following huge backlash after she Tweeted that she wanted to "paint over" the Rothenstein war mural.

SUSU released an official statement on their website writing "Emily Dawes has announced that she is to stand down from her role as Union President after immediate effect".

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SUSU also confirmed that "the role of Union President will remain vacant for the remainder of the 2018-19 academic year, with nominations for 2019-20 opening in January 2019."

"The responsibilities and duties of Union President for the rest of this academic year will be covered by Steve Gore, Vice President Sports and Deputy President, supported by the other members of the sabbatical team."

The University also tweeted the statement half an hour ago:

"Students’ Union President Emily Dawes has decided to stand down with immediate effect."

"We respect Emily’s decision and will continue to provide her with support. The University will continue to work closely with the Students’ Union, the elected team and staff."

The statement includes a comment from Emily Dawes:

"After careful consideration I’ve decided that it’s best if I step down from my role.

"I sincerely apologise for the offence and disrespect caused by my earlier comments, which were misinformed. I acted impulsively and as such fully accept how careless and hurtful my words were.

I’ve had a wonderful time as President and am sad to be leaving. All my thanks go to everyone who has supported me throughout my Presidency, and I wish the team and the Union all the best.”

The original tweet which sparked the controversy, in which Emily stated "Mark my words – we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself".

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A University spokesperson has said "Whilst the Student Union is a wholly separate legal entity to the University of Southampton, under the Education Act, the University fully respects Emily's decision and will continue to provide her with support. The University will also continue its close working relationship with the Students' Union and its elected and full-time staff".

The Soton Tab has approached SUSU for further comment.

We will continue to update you as the story develops.

More on the Emily Dawes story:

Soton SU Pres says she wants to ‘paint over’ war memorial mural

A leaked SUSU email says if Emily Dawes is not fired this week, an official petition will call for her removal

Emily Dawes is ‘due back into work’ the day after Remembrance Sunday

Beyond the controversy: Here’s everything we know about SU Pres Emily Dawes