Union President agrees to pay own legal fees

News University News

The Union’s Standing Committee today voted to reverse their decision to pay their President Ben Sullivan’s legal expenses.

Sullivan will now be liable to pay £1,200 for his legal action against national student newspaper firm The Tab. It was prompted by a Special Adjournment Motion that would have allowed all attendees at Thursday night’s debate to vote on the legal fees.

During a tense debate on the motion – proposed by Sullivan – the Society’s Senior Treasurer Stephen Dixon urged the Union “not to air its dirty linen in public”.

This vote will now be cancelled.

In the meeting, Standing Committee voted 11-3 to reverse the earlier funding decision made by a Vacation Standing Committee and ratified by an Emergency Standing Committee in 0th week.

The Returning Officer, Josh Atkinson, protested that the move was “not possible” under the rules. Opponents of the reverse argued that the effect would be to stop debate over the President’s expenses.

Sullivan responded that anyone could bring a Private Business Motion if they still wished to discuss the matter.

Following the meeting, Sullivan made an exclusive comment to The OxStu, saying: “Standing Committee originally agreed that funding my expenses was viable in light of all the information, much of which isn’t public at the moment due to in camera rules. We didn’t anticipate this level of opposition which we have taken into account with this decision.”

The Special Adjournment Motion that prompted the reversal was proposed by Union Librarian, Kostas Chryssanthopoulos, and signed by 30 members including OUSU President-Elect Louis Trup, resigned Standing Committee member Kat Connolly and ex-OUSU RO Nick Cooper.