Brunel University London has been the centre of a media storm this week after students walked out of a lecture where controversial guest speaker Katie Hopkins was giving a talk.
Some students at the university have taken to social media to share their views but the TV personality has hit-out at the action in her Daily Mail column, slating academic institutions as telling students not “how to think, but what to think.”
She wrote: “A terrifying number conform to one way of thinking.
"Not only do they demand that you comply with their view, but seek to deride and de-legitimise anyone with an alternative opinion.
"I am so used to students trying to discredit me with labels, I even sent Brunel a list in advance, spelling them in the way those ill-educated by reality might choose to do."
Her latest attack was posting a leaked email, which she claims reiterates the lack of freedom of speech at Brunel .
Ali Milani, President of the Union of Brunel students, still stands by the action to silently walk out of the lecture and is 'astounded' by the reaction it has received.
He told getwestlondon : “We always expected Katie to go down the free speech route, but it's really weak... I was expecting something different, we've heard it all before. She's pedalling an argument that doesn't exist.”
Mr Milani confirmed the leaked email was an internal email sent out to the Union's executive members and staff members, not to all students.
He said: “Obviously, within the organisation, we need to speak as one voice and I have overall legal responsibility for what it says as well as politically.
“That was sent to staff members so we don't have six or seven messages coming out of the same organisation. In a personal capacity, anyone can say what they want but in the organisation we need to speak in one voice, again it's not a free speech issue and any organisation would have done the same.”
Katie also accused students of 'whitesplaining' by previously attending lectures by so-called 'hate-preachers' Uthman Lateef and Doctor Fikry.
Mr Milani confirmed that the Uthman Lateef lecture did not go ahead and students spoke out against Doctor Fikry.
He said: “Students protested that as well, they just protested it in a different way.
“They decided to picket outside of that one. It's just a different form of direct action. If anything, this shows consistency at Brunel , that speakers have freedom of speech and students have the right of freedom of expression.”
A student who joined the silent walk-out from Katie's lecture, would be open to debate with and says she has “totally missed the point” by making the protest about her rather than the University's decision to invite someone with offensive views to the campus.
Kirsty Capes, a PHD Creative Writing student said: “I found it highly inappropriate that the University chose to invite someone who has said such offensive things regarding class, race, religion and women, to an anniversary celebration.
“In Brunel’s 50th year we ought to be showcasing our rich diversity and multiculturalism, and people like Katie Hopkins are the absolute antithesis of that ethos.”
Ms Capes assures that Katie was not censored by the action in a “deliberate effort to ensure she was still able to express herself.”
“The walkout was silent so as not to become antagonistic or aggressive. We were able to get our point across in an effective and conscientious manner.
“Honestly I think the action taken was the best way of demonstrating our dissatisfaction with our University – it couldn’t have been done in a more appropriate manner.
“Unfortunately I feel that Katie Hopkins has taken this as a personal slight when it is not.
"I also noted that in her column she said that she was upset about being ‘labelled’ a racist, and a homophobe.
"Again, the students involved in the protest did none of those things. The demonstration was silent.”