National Union of Students sack president Shaima Dallali over antisemitism complaints

Shaima Dallali had been in her role for two years  (Twitter / Shaima Dallali)
Shaima Dallali had been in her role for two years (Twitter / Shaima Dallali)

The president of the National Union of Students (NUS) has been sacked following an investigation into claims of antisemitism.

The claims were made against Shaima Dallali who once shared a tweet of an Islamic battle cry historically used when attacking Jews.

The 27-year-old , who was elected during the NUS’s National Conference in March, was suspended in September and denied she had engaged in antisemitism, although apologised for errors of judgement on social media when she was younger.

In 2012 she wrote on Twitter: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return Gaza,” for which she later apologised.

Ms Dallali had also said Jeremy Corbyn should “never have been suspended in the first place” from the Labour Party, after the former leader was removed during an anti semitism scandal.

An NUS statement on Tuesday revealed the body had referred its probe to the independent King's Counsel, whose findings showed “significant breaches of NUS’ policies have taken place”.

The union said it had terminated the president’s contract although the decision of the panel may be subject to an appeal.

Chloe Field, vice president of higher education will step up as acting chairman of the NUS UK Board and will focus on “helping students through the cost-of-living crisis”.

The statement added: “We continue to work closely with the Union of Jewish Students on the wider investigation into the allegations about NUS and are exploring actions that NUS can take in the near future to build trust and confidence with Jewish students.”

Ms Field said she will “continue to hold the government to account” as pressure on students and apprentices reaches “breaking point”.

She added: “I am proud to fight on behalf of all of our students and therefore I am determined to work together with the Union of Jewish Students to re-establish trust in our organisation and tackle some of the biggest issues facing students right now.”

The Union of Jewish Students had submitted papers to the inquiry detailing allegations of misconduct by Ms Dallali and within the NUS and in a statement released following the president’s dismissal UJS said it “respects the decision of the NUS”.

The findings of a wider investigation into the NUS are yet to be published.

In May, the government in England cut ties with the NUS because of concerns about anti-Semitism, meaning the NUS would not be eligible for government funding.

Responding to Ms Dallali’s dismissal, Education Minister Robert Halfon said the Department for Education welcomed the verdict and looked “forward to seeing the outcome of the next stage”.

He added that the wider report, which was originally due out at the end of last month, would “provide more detail on National Union of Students’ plans to address anti-Semitism within the organisation”.