Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

Balliol students launch petition to bar PM from college premises

The petition, which has received 150 signatures, accuses the PM of "seriously undermining democracy", and also calls for a ban on the college displaying images of the former student.

Balliol students today launched a petition to disavow the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, an alumnus of the college.

The petition argues that Johnson’s recent prorogation of parliament is ‘effectively a political coup’ and ‘has seriously undermined democracy’.

The petition then calls on the college to publicly disavow Johnson, with measures including a ban on Johnson entering college grounds, a ban on displaying ‘depictions of or tributes to Boris’ and a suspension of his ‘alumni status and any benefits that may entail.

At the time of writing, the petition has 138 signatures.

The full petition is given below:

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a former student of Balliol College, Oxford. With his parliamentary shutdown, effectively a political coup, Johnson has seriously undermined democracy in the United Kingdom. Despite the far-reaching and devastating implications of a no-deal Brexit for many of its students and members of staff, Balliol College has yet to condemn his actions.

“With this petition, we hope to show the College that many of its members are appalled by these actions, and to call upon it to publicly disavow Boris Johnson insofar as:

“1) Boris Johnson should be prevented from attending any Balliol College events, and from entering College grounds;

“2) Depictions of or tributes to Boris Johnson, such as portraits, should not be commissioned or displayed on College premises;

“3) His alumni status and any benefits that that may entail should be suspended with immediate effect.

“Balliol College’s student body has consistently demonstrated its commitment to democratic values. We call upon its members to sign this petition in order to to put pressure on College administration to take definitive action in this matter. Please sign this petition, and share it widely. Thank you.”

One of the authors of the petition, Balliol student Andrew MacGowan, told Cherwell: “Nobody voted for the no-deal policy Boris is attempting to force through with his October 31st deadline, and he hasn’t offered any concrete evidence of progress in Brussels. The leak of Operation Yellowhammer details the economic devastation that would result from a no-deal Brexit.”

He continued: “A bomb went off near the Irish border 3 weeks ago; we’ve had enough. The petition is a joint effort between Balliol JCR and MCR members to make it known that Boris does not speak for us, the Bullingdon club is evidently not a political education, and to paraphrase Churchill, that Britain will not ‘give in’.”

A spokesperson for Our Future Our Choice told Cherwell: “Boris Johnson has disgraced the office of Prime Minister. His mandate comes from 0.14% of the electorate, and to force a No-Deal Brexit upon the UK by proroguing Parliament is deeply concerning and profoundly undemocratic. The public deserve to be consulted in the form of a referendum with clearly defined options, which should include our current deal with the EU.”

Balliol and the office of the Prime Minister have been contacted for comment.

This article was originally published on Medium.

Support student journalism

Student journalism does not come cheap. Now, more than ever, we need your support.

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles