Richard Brooks, current Vice President Union Development of the National Union of Students (NUS), the British equivalent of USI, is the topic of two motions at the next NUS National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on 28 February. He came to public attention following a recent Al Jazeera investigation into the role of the Israeli embassy in the UK in interfering with the organisation. Brooks was filmed discussing plans to oust the current president Maria Bouattia.
The investigation also found that the Union of Jewish Students, which is the parent union of Trinity’s Jewish Society, is partially funded by the Israeli embassy in the UK.
Two of the five motions focus on the revelations from this investigation, with the third motion of the council calling for a censure of Brooks for “violating democratic procedures of accountability”. Brooks was filmed stating that he went on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel, which as a representative of the union is considered a “violation of NUS’ democratic policy on BDS and warrants censure”. The motion goes on to state that the NEC were not aware of his trip to Israel, and as the accountable body for the Vice President Union Development they should have been informed of any benefit-in-kind trips as a representative of the NUS.