Conservative students: A persecuted minority?

By staff

Conservative students at Oxford University have started a campaign for the same rights as gay people and ethnic minorities after claims they are being persecuted on campus.

Tory members of the Junior Common Room described feeling "actively isolated, personally attacked and made to feel unwelcome".

The students say they face accusation of being "rape apologists" and "haters of gays" and that other students shouted abuse at them during a recent screening of one of the US presidential debates.

They are now lobbying for the creation of a new position on the college's equal opportunities committee entitling them to the same protections as disabled people, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community.

Stephanie Cherrill, president-elect of the Oxford Conservative Association, said: "There has been a deterioration in the attitude of several JCR [Junior Common Room] members towards people who are right of centre.

"It is my strong belief that this poses a threat to the atmosphere of intellectual discussion as well as to the welfare of members who may feel victimised."