Rumours of no confidence vote in NUS UK President

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shakira martin fe week
Credit: FEWeek

The UK President of the National Union of Students could face a vote of no confidence at the NUS Scotland conference tomorrow.

The move follows Martin’s decision to pull out last minute of making the opening address to the first day of the conference in Dunblane.

A vote of no confidence in Martin is not confirmed at the moment, but many attending the conference have expressed their disappointment in Martin’s decision.

One of Stirling’s NUS delegates who was attending the conference, Lily Climie, spoke about the feeling in the room when it was realised that Martin would not be speaking.

“The atmosphere in the hall was definitely not happy when she pulled out literally just before the speech with no warning or explanation.”

She highlighted the feeling about a no confidence vote amongst the Scotland conference.

“Whilst the vote’s topic isn’t confirmed yet, it’s pretty obvious and there was definitely a huge majority in favour of holding it. Seen quite a few mentions of an independant Scottish NUS too.”

Rahul Singh, the President of Heriot-Watt, criticised Martin on Twitter for missing the zone conference, which was held at the end of 2018 and for not speaking today.

There is some speculation that Martin was unaware that there would be questions after her speech, which was the reason for her refusal.

The VP Sports and Activities of Edinburgh College Students’ Association, Shannon Young, tweeted that Martin left over feeling set up and facing questions over accountability;

“Shakira walked out because she was not prepared to answer accountability questions, she just wanted to make a speech. She said she felt like she was ‘stitched up.’”

Some delegates have seen today’s events as showing why some in NUS Scotland, in a time of uncertainty and financial trouble, support a separate national union for Scottish institutions, outwith NUS UK.

One delegate who wished to remain anonymous said;

“The actions of Shakira highlight a rising distance NUS Scotland feels towards NUS UK. With enforced cuts to our budget without any consultation towards NUS Scotland, it’s obvious that as sector of the student movement we are viewed nothing more than a caucus. Having been talking to several delegates from multiple institutions there is a growing attraction to the idea of an Independent Scottish NUS, especially with the already existing difference in education system, movement governance, and relationship with the Scottish Government.”

Martin received further criticism for the short notice given, and the fact that she had travelled to Dunblane for the conference.
Any vote of no confidence in Martin will be confirmed or denied tomorrow, at the second day of the conference.
NUS UK have been approached for a comment on this issue.

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