University students stage mass walk out as Katie Hopkins starts to speak during Brunel debate – watch

Controversial columnist caused uproar at Brunel University on Monday (November 23)

Students at Brunel University staged a mass walk out in protest against controversial TV personality and newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins this week after the star was invited for a panel debate on the Welfare State.

The debate took place on Monday (November 23), with demonstrators reportedly selling out most of the event tickets. The majority of the crowd then proceeded to turn their back on Hopkins as soon as she began to speak, before exiting the theatre. Watch footage below.

Hopkins is well known for a string of controversies. In April, she described Syrian migrants in her Sun column as “cockroaches” and “feral humans”, saying that they were “spreading like the norovirus”.

Brunel Student Union communications manager Joe Nicell confirmed to The Independent that around 50 people in total were involved in the protest.

Ali Milani, President of Brunel’s student union, recently condemned Hopkins by calling her the “physical manifestation of online trolls”. He said: “The inclusion of Ms Hopkins has been met with widespread outcry from the student body and the Students’ Union”.

Adding: “It is important to note that the conversation at no point has been about banning Ms Hopkins from speaking on campus, or denying her right to speak. It is instead about saying it is distasteful and incongruous for our University, as part of a 50th celebration event, to provide a platform to someone who adds nothing to the intellectual or academic discourse; and an individual who publicly utters such overtly bigoted views.”