Yesterday in a speech on tackling extremism, David Cameron robustly criticised the National Union of Students for aligning themselves with the advocacy group CAGE, a group which had previously told people to 'support the jihad' in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Cameron: “When you align yourself with CAGE...it shames your organisation.”
He was absolutely right to condemn the NUS for having any kind of association with CAGE. In March this year the organisation passed a resolution at their conference opposing the Counter Terrorism and Security Act and ‘alongside civil liberties groups including CAGE’ called for its immediate repeal from the statute book.
The NUS should now immediately and publicly distance themselves from CAGE, and condemn the organisation. Nothing less will be satisfactory. It has a responsibility to its members and to young people in general and should be focused on safeguarding their wellbeing, rather than becoming associated or manipulated by extremist terrorist organisations.
It was right and proper for the Prime Minister to highlight and oppose any kind of tolerance to extremism on university campuses. We cannot and must not be complacent on this issue and the number of people that have attempted to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS should be a wakeup call for us all.
Alexandra Paterson is the National Chairman of Conservative Future and on the CWF Organising Committee.
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