Controversial columnist Katie Hopkins will no longer be speaking at tonight’s DebSoc debate – with National UKIP Students Chairman Thomas Collins taking her place.
The Mail Online star has also pulled out of a scheduled interview with Xpression FM.
Hopkins was due to speak at DebSoc’s regular Friday Night Debate – arguing against the motion: “This House Believes That Britain Has a Moral Obligation to Accept More Refugees”.
Alongside fellow panelist and DebSoc alumnus David Browne, Hopkins would have faced refugee activist Adam Charlton and UKIP Devon chairman Tony McIntyre in the debate.
But on Friday morning, the society posted an update on the event’s Facebook page.
“Due to Ms Hopkins falling ill and not being able to travel from London, she will not be speaking at tonight’s debate,” they explained. Apologising to event-goers, they added: “The event will still be going ahead, and we intended on presenting a thorough debate on this extremely important issue.”
“It’s disappointing for sure,” DebSoc President Anam Shaikh told Exeposé, “but also completely understandable.”
“We would rather Ms Hopkins focus on recovery, than risk her health further simply to speak for us,” she explained, adding: “It’s been fairly easy to find a replacement speaker.”
However, not all students were disappointed by the news.
“Can I be controversial and say I’m kind of glad she isn’t coming?” one final year student told Exeposé.
“At least now she won’t be able to lower the tone of a serious debate with her ill-informed and inflammatory rhetoric.”
Soon after the announcement of Hopkins’ illness, DebSoc posted a second update, confirming Collins as the new panellist.
“Now, who’s going to want to miss a UKIP v UKIP debate?!” they wrote.
Hopkins also pulled out of an upcoming Xpression FM interview. Scheduled for Monday 17 October, ‘Katie Hopkins – The Hotseat’ planned on putting students’ questions to the star.
“We wish her well and will reschedule another date in the future,” the radio station told Exeposé.
DebSoc’s Friday Night Debate “This House Believes That Britain Has a Moral Obligation to Accept More Refugees” begins at 7pm in Amory Moot Room. More information and updates available on the event page.