Rishi Sunak appoints Arif Ahmed as ‘free-speech tsar’ to crack down on university cancel culture


PakPassion Administrator
Staff member
Oct 2, 2004
The Government has appointed its first ever “free speech tsar” to protect free debate in British universities, following a string of high-profile “cancellations” among academics.

Arif Ahmed, a philosophy professor at the University of Cambridge, will be handed new powers to enshrine freedom of speech on campus.

As the UK’s inaugural director of freedom of speech and academic freedom, he will be responsible for investigating any breaches of new duties placed on universities to promote freedom of speech.

Professor Ahmed will also sit on the board of the Office for Students, the higher education regulator, and advise them on sanctions for universities and student unions that fail to comply with their duties, including potential fines.

His appointment comes after the High Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill passed into law last month. It will establish a new free speech complaints system and strengthen the legal responsibility of universities to protect the rights of students, staff and visiting speakers.

Professor Ahmed said freedom of speech and academic freedom were not just “vital to the core purpose of universities and colleges” but “fundamental to our civilisation”.

“As director, I will defend them using all means available. I feel tremendously honoured and fortunate to have been appointed,” he said.

The Cambridge academic added that potential breaches of new freedom of speech laws could include no-platforming external speakers, enforcing “ideological” bias training for staff and students, and disciplining lecturers for their social media activity.


Please shed some light on this appointment.
Isn't liberal philosophy about open-mindedness and tolerance of different views. Cancelling academics and limiting academic freedom is the complete antithesis.
Tories know that the only tool left in their useless shed is the issue of culture war. Without culture war they have nothing left. They cannot deliver on most of their promises because of how unrealistic and unworkable those promises have been. They cannot build more houses because of their NIMBY voters and members. Can’t control immigration because immigrants are the source of funds for the unis and cheap labour for the labour market (hence the narrow focus on boats). Can’t control inflation because they don’t have any power on Bank if England and have no will to make radical policy changes required to make it work. Cost of living crisis is killing the middle class. So all they are left with is straw manning liberals and leftists and creating the doom loop of culture war that never ends.