Transgender rights protesters have interrupted an Oxford Union speech by gender-critical feminist, professor Kathleen Stock, with one demonstrator glueing themselves to the floor of the chamber.
Protesters stormed the controversial event on Tuesday evening waving rainbow flags and shouting “no more dead trans kids”, before being booed by members of the audience and escorted out by security.
Two protesters are understood to have been ejected from the Oxford Union building, with a third protester glueing herself to the floor of the chamber in front of professor Stock.
Four police officers spent around 10 minutes attempting to remove the protester while security walked up and down the hall and demanded that audience members not record or take pictures of the incident.
Professor Stock had only been talking for around five minutes before the protesters stormed the building.
The former University of Sussex philosophy lecturer, who is not a specialist in gender studies but has become known for her beliefs that trans women are not women, said earlier on Tuesday that she was “very determined to go ahead” with the talk despite concerns about being heckled.
Around 500 activists descended on Bonn Square in Oxford’s town centre ahead of the event on Tuesday evening to protest against the university’s decision to welcome professor Stock.
It followed a rare intervention by the Prime Minister, who said earlier on Tuesday that the academic had a right to have her views heard.
“A free society requires free debate. We should all be encouraged to engage respectfully with the ideas of others,” Rishi Sunak told The Telegraph.
“University should be an environment where debate is supported, not stifled. We mustn’t allow a small but vocal few to shut down discussion. Kathleen Stock’s invitation to the Oxford Union should stand.
“Agree or disagree with her, professor Stock is an important figure in this argument. Students should be allowed to hear and debate her views.”
The Prime Minister later took to Twitter to say that “we mustn’t allow a small but vocal few to shut down discussion”.
Professor Stock has claimed she was bullied out of her job at the University of Sussex for her views on transgender rights, which many have claimed are transphobic.
She has previously said that “it’s not hate speech to say that males cannot be women,” and insisted that “controversial and difficult ideas need to be tested in the public square”.
Critics reject her claims she was bullied out of her job, and say she voluntarily chose to leave her job at Sussex two weeks before announcing she would be part of an “anti-woke” US private education initiative with other prominent critics of “cancel culture”. She remains listed as a “founding faculty fellow” at the University of Austin, Texas, which is not yet recognised as a real university.
Professor Stock is also a former trustee of the LGB Alliance group, which advocates for the exclusion of transgender people from the LGBT+ community.
This story is being updated