After being slammed as ‘bigoted and intolerant’ by Jacob Rees-Mogg, creator of Frida petition closes it down

The petition called for a vote of no confidence in the SU President


After Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed its creator as 'intolerant and bigoted', a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in the Sussex SU President has been abandoned.

The petition, which accused Frida Gustaffson of 'fraternising with extremists' after posing with Jacob Rees-Mogg, gained coverage from The Sun and Daily Mail on its way to amassing 14 signatures.

Responding to the petition, Conservative MP Rees-Mogg told the Mail: "The people who have set this petition against her are intolerant and bigoted."

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Now, the petition has been closed, with its creator, Arthur James Hutchinson saying "I'm being terrorised by The Sun and Daily Mail so I'm out."

Hutchinson tells The Tab Sussex that after he was approached by The Sun and the story published, he's been "'receiving a lot of hate and nasty messages thanks to the portrayal in national news outlets."

It's the latest, and hopefully final, chapter in Mogg-Gate, which emerged after a photograph of the Sussex SU President with Jacob Rees-Mogg was posted on Facebook last week.

Sussex student Arthur James Hutchinson proceeded to create a petition online, claiming that the photo "has given us reason to hold no confidence in her", dubbing it is a way of "fraternising with extremists who hold anti-choice, racist, and homophobic ideologies" and giving "power to a horrible man, and puts him on a pedestal where he doesn't belong".

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After making his claim of Frida 'fraternising with extremists', Arthur spoke with The Sun about his story, which merely added more fuel to the controversy. Once Rees-Mogg responded, the petition was closed as Arthur stated he was 'being terrorised by The Sun and Daily Mail'.

He says his aim for the petition was "either her changing her attitude and taking her position seriously, or we have a re-vote for our President".

The petition was signed by just 14 students at the point of its closure, with a target of 100 supporters. Although its page claims victory, Hutchinson says this was just a way of closing the petition.

SU Activities Officer Lucy Williams, whose Facebook the photo was originally posted to, has stated that 'Frida is the kindest most beautiful soul I know. I couldn't be prouder to call her my best friend and my President.'

Responding to the closure of the petition, SU President Frida Gustafsson told The Tab Sussex: "It is disappointing to see a brief moment in student politics turned into a story that has generated sexist, xenophobic and transphobic abuse.

"The Students' Union is here to support and enable free and fair debate between students and we have a zero tolerance policy towards abuse and discrimination."