Tweets of joy as NUS president loses

ALIA Bouattia is no longer the president of the National Union of Students.

The much-maligned president was voted out of office at Wednesday's NUS conference to be succeeded by Shakira Martin.

The shock result only required one round of voting as Bouattia was trounced 272 to 402 votes.

The Union of Jewish Students welcomed the results, saying: "The overwhelming majority of Jewish students across the UK will be grateful that NUS will soon be led once again by a capable leader, who is genuinely committed to ensuring that the student movement stands up for all its members.

"Shakira's election demonstrates a rejection of the divisive rhetoric used by Bouattia, whose past antisemitic comments have remained problematic for Jewish students for over a year.

"Following Shakira's recent work with UJS, which included a trip to Poland ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day this year, we look forward to seeing her continue to prioritise the interests and welfare of Jewish students among all students."

Bouattia was vocal in her support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement towards Israel.

Her defeat was well received on Twitter, too, with former Cambridge Union president Oliver Mosley saying: "Malia Bouattia will go down in student history as an antisemite and an embarassment to our generation. Glad to see she's been booted."

And former Conservative MP Louise Mensch, whose husband Peter is Jewish, said: "So farewell then Malia Bouattia. You scorned the Jews but now we choose to see the back of ya.

"#BouattiaOut #TakeOutTheTrashDay."

Joy Wolfe, president of StandWithUs UK, said Ms Martin "will be a breath of fresh air and will certainly be able to undo some of the damage done to the reputation of the NUS".

Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush and vice-president Marie van der Zyl issued a joint statement, saying: "For the last year, Malia Bouattia has made the NUS a hostile place for Jewish students and it is welcome that students of all faiths across the country have chosen to reject divisive and bigoted attitudes in favour of a welcoming environment for all."

It was also announced that the NUS had adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Jewish student Izzy Lenga was elected as NUS vice-president of Welfare.

A spokesman for UJS said: "We hope that Izzy's success will empower other Jewish students to run for leadership roles, both in their student unions and nationally.

"After a year in which the number of reported antisemitic incidents doubled and a number of allegations of antisemitism in the student movement, including against the NUS national president, we are pleased to see NUS Conference once again pass a motion that commits NUS to combat antisemitism in all of its forms."

Meanwhile, Bath University students voted against a motion to adopt a BDS policy on campus by 343 votes to 249.

Acting Bath J-Soc president Yoni Chitiyat said: "We only have about 30 to 40 active members of our J-Soc, so we knew that single-handedly we wouldn't be able to win the vote.

"But by reaching out to other societies and friends, we were lucky to win. It was important that we speak out against it and defend Israel proudly on campus, even though it was very difficult with a lot of anti-Israel rhetoric going on.

"We hope it will set a precedent for future students coming here and for other student unions."

Concerns over some students' unions' support for a boycott of Israel are being looked into by the Charity Commission, according to the BBC.

Around 17 student groups have endorsed the BDS movement and the Commission has said it would assess the concerns and take action if necessary.

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