Union impeachment fails but speaker cancels event

Image description: a picture of the Oxford Union

The effort to impeach the Union President, James Price, and another senior officer has failed to reach the required number of signatures to carry the motion to a vote of all members. Despite this, a Nobel Laureate cancelled his upcoming event at the Union, supposedly after emails sent from an anonymous account told him not to come.

To carry the impeachment to a vote of all Union members, 150 signatures needed to be collected by 00:02 on the 9th February. Provisional estimates suggest that the campaign fell well short, with the motion to impeach the President receiving 79 signatures, and the motion to impeach the Librarian receiving 70.

The letter from the Returning Officer states:

“Motions of impeachment against the President and Librarian were affixed to the noticeboard at 00:02 on Sunday 7th February. Neither motion gained the required 150 signatures by the deadline at 00:02 today, Tuesday 9th February, and so are not considered moved under Rule 43.”

“No verification process for signatures was required as neither online form for impeachment signatures received 150 responses.”

However, Edmund Phelps, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, who was due to speak at the Union on Friday, cancelled his appearance apparently due to the ongoing scandals surrounding the society.

Reports from inside the Union confirm that Edmund Phelps had cancelled the event. A spokesperson for the Professor further confirmed that he sent a cancellation note to the Union yesterday morning.

It was also reported in the Consultative Committee meeting yesterday afternoon that some upcoming speakers including Joseph Nye have received fake emails advising them to cancel events.

An email account that uses the name ‘Will Gladstone’ has sent several fake emails to upcoming speakers. The account has been encouraging speakers not to attend events at the Union due to the impeachment process that was being brought against the current President and Librarian. William Gladstone was a Union President during his time at Oxford in the late 1820s. He is a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Edmund Phelps is said to have cancelled the event due to concerns about the current scandal, which was triggered by a report that alleged that the President and Librarian had attended an illegal gathering at the Union premises in Decemeber.

The Oxford Union and Edmund Phelps have been approached for comment. 


Image Credit: The Freedom Association via Creative Commons