A talk by controversial English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson about free speech at UK universities has been cancelled after hundreds of students planned to protest the event.
Robinson, who now heads up Pegida UK, had been invited to speak at Oxford Brookes University by an anti-extremism student group.
But the university’s student union refused to approve the event after police warned it posed too great a risk of “public disorder”.
More than 300 students had planned to demonstrate outside of Robinson’s speech, accusing him of spreading “fascism and white supremacy”.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lonnon, founded far-right street protest group the EDL and now heads Pegida UK, which fights against the “Islamisation” of the West.
Last month, he announced plans to for an EDL march in Bristol in memory of a man who died in jail after being sentenced for a bacon attack on a mosque.
A petition launched by the protesters claimed: “Regardless of his official departure from the EDL in 2013, Robinson has built his career on Islamophobic, racist speech and violence.
“We believe that allowing him a platform in this city will promote and dignify such hate speech, as well as fear and violence against communities in our city.”
Robinson, who claims he has been banned from speaking at four universities in the past 12 months, has slammed the police and university for “surrendering free speech to a load of hippy morons”.
Some Oxford Brookes students have also expressed their disappointment at the union’s decision.
Harvir Dhillon, who invited Robinson to speak on campus as president of the union’s Quilliam society, said he was “annoyed” at the missed opportunity.