Trans-critical LSE professors launch right wing ‘academic freedom’ council

Published On: November 9th, 2023

Trans-critical members of an LSE ‘Academic Freedom’ (LSE AF) group have organised a public lecture with UK barrister Akua Reindorf. The lecture launches a new London-wide council called the London Universities’ Council for Academic Freedom (LUCAF).

The council is led by trans-critical professors in universities associated with the University of London. The launch was scheduled to coincide with the UK Trans Day of Remembrance, and the main speaker is most well-known for a report in defence of gender critical speakers at Essex university. Watch participants laugh happily at the suggestion to “sack the whole EDI department” in universities:

Update: After their launch event, a member of LUCAF appeared on the far-right news network GBNews, where they falsely portrayed protesters at the event as being “against civil discourse” and “in tears”:

A more accurate account of the protest and vigil is reported by Rejoin Stonewall.

London Universities’ Council for Academic Freedom: Trans-critical ties

The membership of the LUCAF includes all the committee members of the LSE Academic Freedom group, who are active public promoters of trans-critical views. Some of them are are founding members of this new council. The council also includes many LSEAF ordinary members.

Like the LSEAF, the new council lists Academics For Academic Freedom (AFAF) as a resource, a group known to have ties to the UK far right, and which lists Elon Musk and Nigel Farage as “heroes”.

A group of trans-critical academics from University College London (UCL) are members of the new council too. This includes Alice Sullivan, Lesley Gourlay, Ruth McGinity, Gemma Moss, Sophie Scott, Holly Smith, Judith Suissa, and Ralph Wilde. They are all signatories on a 2020 open letter supporting a trans-exclusionary group, Woman’s Place UK.

Alice Sullivan, a sociologist and prominent anti-trans campaigner, has edited a controversial trans-exclusionary volume on sex and gender, and is a leader of the anti-trans campaign group Sex Matters.

Akua Reindorf and gender critical speech

Akua Reindorf, who will be the sole speaker at the event, is a barrister specialising in employment. In 2021 she was appointed by Liz Truss to the Equality and Human Rights Commission board.

Reindorf rose to minor fame in the UK after authoring a report critical of the University of Essex for retracting the speaking invitations of two trans-critical lecturers, and critical of the Stonewall charity for supporting the decision. The so-called Reindorf Review has been resoundingly criticised by outside observers and by trans rights groups, and its main conclusions are denied by Stonewall.

Nevertheless, “legal issues” associated with Reindorf’s report were cited among the reasons senior managers gave for disaffiliating from Stonewall.

The Akua Reindorf lecture at the LSE will be chaired by David Kershaw, a member of the LSE Academic Freedom group and who organised the Hannah Barnes gender critical event at the LSE in May.