Antisemitism has been tolerated on UK campuses for too long - Johnson

UK PM Johnson spoke of the need for an antisemitism task force to deal with antisemitism in UK education.

 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Prime Minister's Questions session at the House of Commons, in London, Britain, March 23, 2022. (photo credit: UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLOR/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Prime Minister's Questions session at the House of Commons, in London, Britain, March 23, 2022.
(photo credit: UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLOR/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that antisemitism has been tolerated for too long in universities and needs to be eradicated in a series of Prime Minister Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

These comments were in response to a question posited by Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Against Antisemitism MP Andrew Percy.

"We heard from Jewish students recently who are suffering record antisemitic attacks on university campuses including allegations of them being marked down by their own professors," said Percy. "This is completely outrageous and we would expect the National Union of Students (NUS) to be on their side, but instead of helping them, the NUS has been inviting someone who has been engaging in antisemitic conspiracy theories to a conference."

"Our universities for far too long have been tolerant of casual, or indeed systematic antisemitism and that's why it is very important that we now have rapid and irreversible change," Johnson replied. "But it's also important that we have an antisemitism task force devoted to rooting out antisemitism in education at all levels."

A report from November showed that in 2021, antisemitism on UK campuses rose by 59% from 2020.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, January 12, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/HENRY NICHOLLS)British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, January 12, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/HENRY NICHOLLS)

In February, UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said that the issue needed urgent attention and pledged to tackle the antisemitism on campuses.