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Are new campus free speech laws really necessary?

Proposed legislation would make student bodies liable if speakers are “no-platformed”.

The government has unveiled plans to introduce legal measures aiming to protect freedom of speech on university campuses in response to a long-running row over the “no-platforming” of speakers by student unions.

The new laws, proposed by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, would mean visiting speakers can sue universities and student groups where they feel their freedom of speech has been infringed.

On this episode of the New Statesman podcast, Stephen Bush, Anoosh Chakelian and Ailbhe Rea discuss whether the government’s plans are right, fair or even necessary.

Then, in You Ask Us, they tackle your question of whether Ed Balls’s stellar performance on Celebrity Best Home Cook proves he could have achieved more in politics.

Further reading

Stephen explores how the UK’s vaccine success has emboldened Boris Johnson’s lockdown critics.

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Anoosh has been investigating how the Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on the courts system, leaving some families waiting months for justice.

Martin Fletcher writes that Keir Starmer must break his silence on the Prime Minister’s disastrous Brexit deal.

If you’re in the mood for more audio from the New Statesman, listen to World Review, the weekly global affairs podcast from our international editor Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin and our US editor Emily Tamkin in Washington, DC.

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