Oxford and Cambridge unions win exemption allowing extremists to preach on campus

The Oxford and Cambridge Unions have secured an exemption from a Government crackdown on extremists being invited to speak to student audiences, it emerged today.

They have been excluded from new Home Office rules following lobbying from Conservative peers, including the former Cabinet ministers Lord Lamont and Lord Deben.

Student unions are to be informed in statutory guidance that they are required to draw up policies “setting out the activities that are or are not allowed to take place on campus”. It also suggests that student union officers and staff should receive counter-terrorism awareness training.

But the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, often regarded as the training ground of future Cabinet ministers, will not be covered because they are legally separate entities from their universities.