Brendan McGrath has survived a vote of impeachment at the Oxford Union.
The impeachment vote, which ran between 8:30am to 9:30pm today lost with 400 votes against impeachment, 189 votes for impeachment, and 3 spoilt ballots.
The impeachment was called by Jim Brennan following Ray William’s dramatic resignation from the position of Chief of Staff over the overturning of a ban on slates.
A second resignation followed, with Brian Wong resigning from their position of Senior Access Officer.
In Wong’s resignation letter they wrote: “It did not take long for the Librarian, then the Librarian-Elect and nurturing ambitions for the Presidency, to discover the technicality he was looking for.
“By his own admission, the Librarian has known about the invalidity of the slate ban for “quite a while.” When he discovered this, the Librarian said nothing. When the Rules were updated, the Librarian said nothing. When an ex-President expressed concerns, the Librarian said nothing.
“The Librarian said nothing.
“That is, until the Friday before last. By then, so close to the opening of nominations, any attempt to validly bring a ban on slates would be almost impossible.
“In a private conversation with the Returning Officer, the Librarian overturned the biggest change to the Union’s electoral rules in years. Suddenly, every candidate, other than himself, found themselves adrift.”
In response to the impeachment vote, a pro impeachment source told The Oxford Student: “This impeachment process has been an exercise in democracy.
“It is unfortunate that in this democratic process the Librarian and his allies hid behind unsubstantiated and false allegations of bullying instead of defending the Librarian’s actions. It is always regrettable that individuals can be upset when things do not go their way in student politics, but it is a sad state of affairs when being criticised on a factual basis for a controversial action amounts to bullying.
“It remains that this election is now being run under Rules that the Librarian has been preparing for over the past two months, but his opponents have not.”
Brendan McGrath told The Oxford Student: “The size of this result shows that the Union’s members won’t accept the ridiculous games and public bullying that the supporters of impeachment engaged in. I am disappointed in Jim Brennan and Brian Wong; the latter using the title of Access Officer to attack an opponent of their preferred candidate for President. However, I have reached out to both to wish them well – I look forward to working with them in the future, if the opportunity presents itself.
“People expect the Union to be political, but even given that expectation the members have rejected a type of Union based on fear, manipulation, and humiliation. I’m looking forward to going back to what I was elected to do. The motion was brought because I made a mistake, not raising a rules issue in good enough time. But the behaviour surrounding the motion was the most outrageous display of ruthless character assassination I have ever witnessed.
“The supporters of impeachment attempted to forge signatures, tricked drunk ball attendees, and at every step tried to tear me down in a public forum. Towards the end of the day, “evidence” of me colluding to have someone abuse their office was being circulated by anonymous actors on social media – it is worth noting that this “evidence” had also been submitted to OxStu and Cherwell, and was rejected as either illegally-obtained or fraudulent. As usual, a principled question was hijacked for purely political goals, namely the cutting out of a candidate from this term’s elections.
“I will always be grateful to the people who helped me today. At my lowest moment, they were there for me consistently and to a stunning level. They helped me realise that when your opponents insist on using the structure of a debating society to wear down your mental health, you’re allowed to call that out. Oxford deserves better than the Union it’s seen this week. I hope this result is the beginning of that better Union.”
Photo Credit: US Department of State