Universities Minister to attend Oxford Union debate

Science and Technology University News

Image Credit: Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0)

The Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation will defend the Government in the first Oxford Union debate of the academic year, ‘This House Has No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government’.

Sam Gyimah, also a former Government Whip, was raised in both the UK and Ghana before being accepted to Somerville College in the late 90’s, becoming an investment banker upon graduation.

Elected MP for East Surrey in 2010 after being put on David Cameron’s so-called A-list, an attempt to increase the number of MPs and Peers from minorities in the Conservative party, Gyimah’s first appointment was as private secretary to David Cameron. He later held various under-secretarial positions, including that for the Constitution, Education and Prisons. After his predecessor, Jo Johnson, became Minister of Transport, he started in his current position.

During his parliamentary career, he has been active in the areas of education and international development. He has also been involved in two notable filibustering cases, the first blocking a bill intended to add first aid training to the curriculum (his speech was described as like reading a ‘telephone book’ out loud) while the other blocked a rival bill to the Government’s implementing the ‘Turing Law’.

Stephen Horvath, President of the Oxford Union, told The Oxford Student:

“As we open each new academic year with the motion ‘This House Has No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government’, we always invite prominent politicians to criticise or defend the Government. We are delighted that this year Sam Gyimah MP will be speaking in opposition to the motion. Given his brief as Minister for Universities & Science, his perspective on the Government’s policies will be especially relevant to Oxford students. We are looking forward to welcoming Mr Gyimah back to the Oxford Union, where he was President in Michaelmas Term 1997.”

The debate will take place on Thursday 11th October, and Mr Gyimah will also speak to the Oxford University Conservative Association on the same day.