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Petition to oust Student Union leader dropped

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A STUDENT Union president faced a call to resign after being pictured with Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.

A petition was launched to force out University of Sussex Student Union president Frida Gustafsson, 22, after she posed for a snap with the prominent Tory MP on a trip to Parliament to speak at an inquiry about free speech.

Miss Gustafsson was accused of “fraternising with extremists” because of Mr Rees-Mogg’s opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

The petition was launched by student Arthur James Hutchinson, 19, in a bid to force a no confidence vote and sack her from the £17,500 a year role.

Writing on the Change.org petition he said: “Following the recent outcry with the Student Union’s recent trip to the House of Parliament, there are questions about Frida Gustafsson’s leadership.

“Fraternising with extremists who hold anti-choice, racists and homophobic ideologies is not something Sussex should endorse.

“She has given us reason to hold no confidence in her and democratically we must hold her to account.”

Despite being a left-winger, Miss Gustaffsson said she was excited to meet the MP and posted the snap on Facebook.

Commenting on the picture she said: “I’m happy to meet with, discuss and hear from people with views different from my own.”

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The people who have set this petition against her are intolerant and bigoted.”

The petition, which only gathered 14 signatures, was later abandoned.

Mr Hutchinson told student newspaper The Tab Sussex he had been “receiving a lot of hate and nasty messages” following reports by national newspaper.

Responding to the closure of the petition, Ms Gustafsson told The Tab Sussex: “It is disappointing to see a brief moment in student politics turned into a story that has generated sexist, xenophobic and transphobic abuse.

“The Student Union is here to support and enable free and fair debate between students and we have a zero tolerance policy towards abuse and discrimination.”


Source: The Argus