The President of The Oxford Union, Brendan McGrath, has announced that he will be standing down, following mounting pressure over his reaction to a blind man being “violently dragged out”.
McGrath announced his resignation on Tuesday night, saying: “Fundamentally, it is the President’s job to ensure that every Member feels welcome at the Oxford Union. This is a goal I have manifestly failed to reach.
“For all my shortcomings and all my mistakes, I apologise profusely and unqualifiedly.”
This comes after over 300 people signed a motion in the Oxford Union to bring about an impeachment resignation.
On 17th October, Ebenezer Azamati, a post-graduate student at Oxford University from Ghana, was “violently dragged out” of the debate chamber at the Oxford Student.
Azamati entered the Union chamber early to reserve an accessible seat, before leaving to get dinner. He later returned before the start of the debate, but was initially refused entry. Another member of the Union accompanied him to his seat, before security officials told him he must leave. After the Union security officers confiscated his membership card, they “violently dragged” him out of the chamber.
This prompted outrage from students across Oxford University, with Oxford University Africa Society calling for his resignation. Shortly after, Oxford University, and Oxford SU, both of which are independent from the Oxford Union, condemned the treatment of Azamati by the Union. A petition from the society reached over 50,000 signatures, calling for his resignation.
Several elected officials have stood down throughout the past few days over the handling of the case, with some giving public statements condemning McGrath.
The position of President will now be taken up by President-Elect, Sara Singh-Dube.
Image Credit: Oxford Union