NUS president Shaima Dallali dismissed over antisemitism claims
The president of the National Union of Students (NUS) has had her contract terminated following an investigation into allegations of antisemitism.
An independent panel found “significant breaches of NUS policies have taken place” and the union has decided to terminate president-elect Shaima Dallali’s contract, the NUS said on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, the union launched an independent investigation into allegations of antisemitism within the union and in May announced Rebecca Tuck KC would lead it.
The union said the panel’s decision could be subject to an appeal.
Ms Dallali, 27, was elected earlier this year to start leading the union in July but was suspended at the end of August.
She tweeted on Tuesday to describe the decision as “unacceptable” after saying she found out about her dismissal through Twitter.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism described Ms Dallali’s removal as “an encouraging first step”, while the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said this case “is a symptom of a wider problem”.
The NUS said it wants to keep working closely with the UJS on the wider investigation and is “exploring actions the NUS can take in the near future to build trust and confidence with Jewish students”.
It also apologised “for the harm that has been caused”, and said it hopes “to rebuild the NUS in an inclusive way – fighting for all students as we have done for the past 100 years”.
Ms Dallali said after her suspension she had been subjected to “racist and Islamophobic abuse and death threats” since becoming NUS president.
Chloe Field, NUS vice-president of higher education, has now been made acting chair of the NUS UK board.
She said: “I am proud to fight on behalf of all of our students and therefore I am determined to work together with the Union of Jewish Students to re-establish trust in our organisation and tackle some of the biggest issues facing students right now.”
Education Minister Robert Halfon said: “Antisemitism is abhorrent and I welcome this verdict from the NUS.
“However, this is only the first step in addressing antisemitism allegations within the organisation and am very keen to see further action that they are taking concerns from Jewish students seriously.”
In a statement, the Union of Jewish Students said: “UJS respects the decision of the National Union of Students to dismiss their president. Antisemitism in the student movement goes beyond the actions of any one individual and this case is a symptom of a wider problem.
“Jewish students across the country will be asking how an individual deemed unfit for office by NUS was elected in the first place. We await the findings of the substantive inquiry into NUS’ treatment of Jewish students.”
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