Malia Bouattia: Controversial NUS president ousted in election

Jonathan Mitchell
Malia Bouattia at a National Union of Students conference: PA

The controversial president of the National Union of Students has been ousted to be replaced by a single mother.

Shakira Martin, who previously held the position of Vice President of Further Education, will replace Malia Bouattia after some 56 per cent of students voted for the new union leader.

Ms Bouattia, who was elected last year, endured a controversial reign after it emerged she co-wrote an article describing Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost”.

She has consistently denied the allegations of anti-semitism, bemoaning the "very, very difficult" treatment of her and her family by the media.

Last year, Ms Bouattia apologised that any “language I used in the past was interpreted as anti-Semitic” and that she had “no intention” to offend Jewish students.

Shakira Martin speaking at an NUS conference (National Union of Students)

Former Lewisham college student Ms Martin has pledged to run a “national movement” for students across the country.

She told the BBC: “I am honoured and humbled to have been elected as NUS national president.

"I take this as a vote of trust that our members believe I can lead our national movement to be the fighting and campaigning organisation we need it to be, representing the breadth of our diverse membership.

"Further education made me who I am today and I look forward to sharing stories of just how powerful all forms of education can be when we're all given access to it.”

She was accused of “outright racism” by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee over comments she made relating to Israel.

While seeking re-election, she reportedly spoke of death threats and harassment she experienced during her presidency.

Last year, some London universities campaigned to leave the NUS following her election.

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