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Free Speech and Safe Spaces: The New British Prime Minister Is Very Much for One and Against the Other


"Does the Prime Minister agree with me that university is precisely the place for..."

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During England's weekly "Prime Minister’s Questions" session at the House of Commons, one member of Parliament asked newly installed Prime Minster Theresa May if she supported the growing trend of creating "safe spaces" on college campuses.

The question came from Victoria Atkins, a back-bench member of Parliament. Atkins started with a brief but rousing endorsement of the value of free speech — especially at universities — before she posed her question about the so-called "safe spaces" to May:

As students around the country return to their places of learning at the start of this academic year, does [the prime minister] agree with me that university is precisely the place for lively debate and the fear of being offended must not trump freedom of speech?

May quickly rose to express her agreement with Atkins:

We want our universities not just to be places of learning but to be places where there can be open debate which is challenged. ... And I think everybody is finding this concept of "safe spaces" quite extraordinary, frankly. We want to see that innovation of thought taking place in our universities. That's how we develop as a country, as a society and as an economy.

Watch the brief clip:

(H/T: Heat Street)

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