Updated: Mar 24
Amendment passed to ban the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) by universities in cases of sexual assault, abuse and harassment, as well as bullying and other forms of misconduct.
Extracts of speeches by Layla Moran (MP Oxford West and Abingdon)
I rise to speak in support of Lords amendment 3. I am frankly delighted that it has received Government support. It will do what I and others across the House have for some time been calling for, which is to ban the use of non-disclosure agreements by universities in cases of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, bullying and other forms of misconduct.
I thank everyone who has worked on the campaign. I thank Lord Collins for tabling the amendment; the right hon. Member for Basingstoke (Dame Maria Miller) and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Jess Phillips), who have campaigned with me; and Zelda Perkins and Can’t Buy My Silence for their tireless campaigning over the years. More importantly, I want to thank the young women, particularly Ffion from the University of Oxford and everyone involved in the campaign It Happens Here—those brave survivors who have spoken out about their experiences.
Oxford’s It Happens Here—Oxford is the university with which I have been dealing with the most—has noted which Oxbridge colleges have signed it. The Minister may be shocked, as I was, to learn that there are only four, three at Oxford and just one at Cambridge: three out of 44 colleges and one out of 33. Moreover, that is replicated in institutions throughout the country. The take-up of the pledge has been poor, which is why we needed the Government to step in with this legislation.
UK Parliament, House of Commons
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
Volume 727: debated on Tuesday 7 February 2023
Consideration of Lords Amendments