Taxpayers' cash funding fight to sack academic
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 1:53am GMT 07/03/2007
Taxpayers are helping to fund the national body of a student organisation trying to get an academic sacked because of his links to an immigration think-tank.
Student Action for Refugees (Star) has been granted more than 150,000 over three years through the Department for Education's national voluntary youth organisation programme. It was also given a grant of 428,000 last year from the Big Lottery Fund. The Oxford branch of Star has circulated a petition seeking the removal of Prof David Coleman, a demographer and a co-founder of Migrationwatch UK. The students say Prof Coleman is lending academic credibility to an organisation that has a racist agenda. He has denounced their action as an attack ''on academic independence and freedom of speech''.
Hugo Swire, the Conservative culture spokesman, said: ''This money is meant for good causes not to wage a personal campaign.''