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Union members to be polled on President’s impeachment after petition reaches threshold

Union members will be polled this Saturday on whether to impeach the society’s President, Brendan McGrath, after 150 members signed a petition in support of the motion. If two thirds vote in favour of impeachment, McGrath will be removed from office.

The motion had 48 hours to reach 150 signatures, but reached the threshold in just six.

Harry Hatwell, the member who brought the motion of impeachment and Nwamaka Ogbonna, President of Oxford University Africa Society today released a joint statement: “We are glad that so many people took the time today to sign the impeachment motion and would also like to thank the Union committee members who have resigned in order to support our demands.

“There will now be a poll of impeachment htis Saturday at the Oxford Union. If 2.3rd of voters support impeachment, the President will immediately be removed from Office.

“Our demands remain:

  • The immediate resignation of Brendan McGrath as President;
  • An unreserved public apology to Mr. Azamati by the Oxford Union;
  • Adequate punishment of the security personnel who assaulted Mr Azamati;
  • Adequate compensation agreed with Mr. Azamati.”

Earlier today, the Charities Commission became involved in the scandal being contacted by writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch. The Commission wrote to Hirsch on Twitter: “Oxford Union is not a charity, but we have contacted the connected charity Oxford Literary and Debating Union Charitable Trust and issued the trustees with advice on what we exppect them to consider in their handling of this distressing incident.”

The action is being brought against McGrath for his failure to investigate Mr Azamati’s case, for continuing to prosecute him for nearly a month, and for failing to publicly apologise for the incident.

The motion states: “The President has failed in his duty to uphold the principles of equity and fairness, failed to deal with ableism and racism in the Union, and failed to listen to the voices of the Union’s members. He is not fit for office.”

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