The increasingly unhinged tone of left-wing campus politics is behind a revival of conservative groups on British campuses, activists have claimed.
Right-leaning student groups – typically ill-attended and eccentric – say their ranks are swelling in light of strident campaigns fuelled by identity politics.
The phenomenon seems most acute at elite universities, where the student left is also at its most boisterous, though others are not immune.
University branches of the Conservative Party at Cambridge; Oxford; Imperial College; and King’s College, London have all reported rises of at least 30 per cent since last September.
At Brunel University in London, a less prestigious institution, Conservative society membership is apparently up by 400 per cent.
Attempts to ban controversial speakers from campuses, demands for universities to whitewash their history, and a general antipathy to free speech have all been cited as drivers of the phenomenon.
Alastair Ward-Booth, who leads Cambridge’s Conservative association, said his new members were seeking a refuge from “insane and exclusionary” left-wing politics.
He told the Telegraph: “Students seem to be fed up with the irrelevance of politically correct student politics.”
Their supposed representatives, the National Union of Students, is an ardent supporter of this kind of action.