National Union of Students’ executive committee to vote on censuring Vice President Richard Brooks

The motion is one of two relating to Brooks to be debated at the next NUS National Executive Council


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.

The fourth motion of the council concerns his violation of NUS’s Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) policy, which was passed by 19 votes to 12 in June 2015.
Several other members of NUS are said to have taken part in the trips to Israel and Palestine organised in January 2017.
The motion goes on to state that: “Coming at a time when the UN Security Council has recently reaffirmed the illegality of settlements under international law, the decision to visit settlements as part of trip is an embarrassingly regressive one, and an affront to the values of human rights and respect for international law that the student movement embodies.”

Stacy Wrenn

Stacy Wrenn is a staff writer and a Senior Sophister Jewish and Islamic Civilisations student.