Student in freedom of expression row with Preston's University of Central Lancashire will not take part in diversity training

Sebastian Walsh is North West Regional Chairman at UKIP Young Independence in Wigan
Sebastian Walsh is North West Regional Chairman at UKIP Young Independence in Wigan

A student at the centre of a freedom of expression row is refusing to take part in diversity training which would allow him back to lectures.

Sebastian Walsh was temporarily suspended from Preston’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) after he made “offensive and inappropriate” comments about halal meat and the ‘Islamification of the UK’.

The 19-year-old, who made the remarks during a seminar about food standards, is also refusing to sign a conduct behaviour agreement with UCLan.

“We are now living in a country where political correctness is taking over,” he said.

“If somebody is going to be offended let them be offended. Nothing is going to happen to them.

“I could walk in with a Union Flag and people might be offended but it’s not offensive to me. It’s subject to the individual - offence is not given, it’s taken.”

Invoking Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights Sebastian added: “Why should I sign away my legal rights?”

UCLan documents sent to the Post by Sebastian state that comments he made in class include: “This country is Islamified”, “people who do not speak English should not be paid for because this is our country” and “the practice of halal food is disgusting and barbaric”.

Putting forward his version of what he said in class Sebastian said: “I said I wouldn’t eat a Subway or a KFC because they use halal meat. I’m completely against ritual slaughter - it causes the animal to suffer. I said this is showing the impact of the UK becoming Islamified.

“But in fairness it is animal cruelty.

“Then we got onto how there are 30 or 50 Islamic courts in this country which openly discriminate against women. Why are we allowing such courts in the country?

“Then we began talking about the NHS and if it should be privatised. I said it should be privatised for people who are not UK legals.”

However a UCLan spokesman said that his comments “clearly breached a number of the university’s conduct regulations, including those relating to harassment and bringing the university into disrepute.”

The spokesman added: “The student has been temporarily suspended for the remainder of the academic year and is aware that on the successful completion of a diversity training course, he will be able to resume his studies.”