The NUS (National Union of Students) are receiving large amounts of criticisms regarding their association with London rapper based ‘Lowkey’. This controversial artist, whose real name is Kareem Dennis, has been accused of spreading and engaging with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He has also publicly expressed his support for other previously influential individuals, such as ex-Labour MP Chris Williams and David Miller, who have been labelled as anti-Semites. Lottie Murray reports on the controversy.
Richard Halfon, the chair of the Education Select Committee (ESC) stated in an interview with LBC that he is strongly considering referring the NUS to the Equalities commission for a thorough investigation. He believes that this case should be treated in the same manner as the investigation into the accused anti-Semitic behaviour within Corbyn’s Labour party which was carried out in 2020. Halfon pledges that the NUS must be held accountable for demonstrating support towards Lowkey at the expense of the Jewish community, and specifically Jewish students.
The UJC have publicly acknowledged the issue
However, the issues extend beyond Lowkey’s invitation to the NUS led event. Some Jewish students have come out and said that the NUS stated that if his appearance was problematic, they were welcome to visit a ‘safe space’ to avoid the loud atmosphere of Lowkey’s concert. The Union of Jewish Students have shared that Jewish students feel that “the NUS have brushed Jewish students aside and have shown a complete disregard for their needs and experiences”.
Rabbi Harvey Belovski, who has connections with UoN, stands as Chair Strategist and Rabbinic Head for the University Jewish Chaplaincy (UJC). The UJC have publicly acknowledged the issue at hand and tweeted the following in response:
It has since been made apparent that the President of the NUS (Larissa Kennedy) had in fact denied ever knowing about Lowkey’s controversial actions. After facing this level of scrutiny from government officials, such as Richard Halfon, the organisation has pulled the rapper from the line-up for their conference schedule which took place at the end of March.
Undoubtedly, Jewish students are feeling very disappointed and excluded from an organisation whose key aim is to unite all students on a national level.
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