NUS Vice-President cleared of Malia coup attempt claims

Internal inquiry clears Richard Brooks of attempting to oust President with help of Israeli embassy

An inquiry has found that NUS Vice-President Richard Brooks did not conspire to remove Malia Bouattia as President of the NUS, and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

In January, it was alleged that hidden camera footage from Al Jazeera depicted the senior NUS officer plotting against its President.

Brooks denied any wrongdoing, and referred himself to an internal investigation in the Union.

Following the results of the investigation, Brooks posted on Facebook, attacking the “far left candidates electioneering and anti-Semites who troll anyone mentioned with the word Israel next to their name”.

Brooks told Cherwell: “I’m relieved that the investigation, which I referred myself for, has found no evidence of any wrongdoing on my part.

“I hope this is now a moment where we all can come together ensuring we continue to do great work transforming students’ lives and make students’ unions even better.”

Since her election as NUS President in 2016, Malia Bouattia has been criticised for alleged anti-Semitism and has been criticised for “outright racism” in a report by the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The initial allegations against Brooks had surfaced in an Al-Jazeera report titled “The Lobby”, which claimed it had found evidence of Israeli influence in student politics and the Labour Party.

Brooks wrote online: “I do not work on behalf of the Israeli Government. I have never met anyone from the Israeli Government.

“I have not accepted funds from the Israeli Government. It is a lie to say or infer otherwise.”

He added: “The last month has been a difficult one for me. My phone has lit up constantly from social media abuse, my family and friends checking on how I am and lies and mistruths posted about me all over the world.

“By most people’s standards, it was a sharp start to elections season.”

Malia Bouattia and the NUS have been contacted for comment.