In a report on free speech in higher education, the U.K. Secretary of State for Education decried the chilling effects of “cancel culture” on free speech.
At the beginning of a free speech report presented to Parliament, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson penned a letter dubbing the current culture of “emotional safety” to be counterproductive. “There are some in our society who prioritize ‘emotional safety’ over free speech, or who equate speech with violence. This is both misguided and dangerous,” Williamson said.
The report cites a study from King’s College in London that found that a quarter of students see violence as an acceptable response to speech they dislike. The same study found that 59 percent of “Conservative-supporting” students said that they were reluctant to share their views on campus.
Williamson claims that British society has turned a “blind eye” to the “creeping culture of censorship.” “A culture has been allowed to develop in which it is seen as acceptable,