Tory MP Liz Truss ‘not interested in a genuine conversation’ during visit to Hes Hall occupiers

The occupiers released a statement regarding the politician’s visit today

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Conservative MP Liz Truss today visited the occupation at Hes Hall as part of a planned visit to the University of York.

In a statement made on Twitter, the occupiers say Truss "brought her 25-strong 'entourage' with her", which "meant that it was difficult to have a productive conversation about the dispute".

The occupiers "offered an individual chat [to Liz Truss]" which she declined, leading them to believe she "was not interested in a genuine conversation or listening to what we had to say but instead wanted to show off to the Conservative Party members attending her initial event."

The occupiers say that their invitation to come and discuss the issues over a cup of tea and some biscuits remains open to individual students. They stress that they "encourage students to do this in a considerate [manner] rather than in an intimidating crowd."

The occupiers have also issued an apology to the staff working in Heslington Hall "as we attempted to adhere to their request for a maximum of 20 people in the room and we hope that their work was not disrupted by the commotion. All being under our control we will continue to abide by management's requests until the end of the occupation."

Earlier today striking staff visited the occupiers and last night the students in Hes Hall claim university management attempted to disrupt their protest by keeping the lights on before giving up after pressure on social media.

The York Tories, who were hosting Liz Truss at the university, responded to the claims in a post on their Facebook page disputing "20 men in suits stormed the building" and posting a picture of the group that accompanied Truss on the visit.

Statement on the visit of Elizabeth Truss MP.York Tories where honoured to have had Chief Secretary to the Treasury…

Posted by York Tories on Thursday, March 15, 2018

They go on to claim that a minority of the occupiers accosted members of their group and shouted at one member: "How could you live with yourself being disabled and a Tory".

You can read their full statement here.