OUSU Returning Officer Alexander Walker has resigned citing “recent events surrounding the NUS referendum”.
In a letter posted on the OUSU noticeboard, Walker announced: “I, Alexander Walker, Wadham College, hereby resign my position as the Returning Officer of the Oxford University Student Union.”
Walker continued: “In light of the recent events concerning the NUS Referendum, I have come to the decision that my position is no longer tenable. The grave situation with the NUS Referendum happened under my watch. Although we do not currently understand how this happened, I do not believe that I should continue in this position as with my academic pressures as a second year chemist, I am unable to fulfil my duties.
I understand that many people have had a great deal invested in this referendum and I feel for them in this turbulent time. I wish the Junior Tribunal the best of luck in finding out how this has happened and I am happy to continue to contribute to the investigation.”
When asked for comment on Walker’s resignation, OUSU President Tom Rutland responded: “A Junior Tribunal is meeting today to consider the complaint issued regarding the voting irregularities in the referendum.”
Walker’s resignation follows allegations of“serious irregularities” in the NUS referendum. Evidence filed in a complaint by Jack Matthews, the leader of the ‘No’ campaign, suggests that over 1,000 spare unique voter codes (those not originally assigned to students) were used to vote no “in large clusters…at a similar time”. According to the complaint, the votes all came from logons at the same IP address.