Milo Yiannopoulos's rival candidates to become rector at the University of Glasgow have rounded on the alt-right figurehead, with one saying they will refuse to share a stage with him and another dismissing him as a "bawbag".
Yiannopoulos, who resigned from Breitbart News last month after appearing to condone paedophilia, was nominated last week alongside 11 other candidates to replace NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as the leading student representative on the university's governing body.
There have already been calls from various university societies to boycott the election or disqualify Yiannopoulos from the race, and now nine of the other candidates have roundly criticised their rival to BuzzFeed News – calling him "a reactionary loser", "a right-wing conman", and "a darling of the far right".
Former UK government minister and fellow candidate Vince Cable was previously unaware of Yiannopoulos but told BuzzFeed News he "doesn't seem like a serious candidate" and will reconsider whether or not to appear alongside him at this month's hustings.
Leading human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar said Yiannopoulos's nomination was "demeaning of a university that prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness" and described the controversial media personality as "a darling of the far right and white supremacists". The University of Glasgow has refused to comment on the matter.
A spokesperson for fellow candidate Brace Belden, a socialist currently fighting against ISIS, dismissed Yiannopoulos as "cowardly", adding: "The best way to knock back this reactionary loser is to elect Brace Belden and show whose side Glasgow University students are on."
The group who nominated Yiannopoulos – which, according to university rules, must be made up of a minimum of 10 students – said on Monday night they wished to remain anonymous due to alleged "violent threats" they've received since the nomination.
Their decision to "hide" on the internet was criticised by another rectorial candidate, Duncan Logie, who told BuzzFeed News he will be boycotting the candidate hustings event next week should Yiannopoulos turn up.
"The nomination of Milo Yiannopoulos for rector of the university is incredibly frustrating and disheartening," said Logie. "Ten anonymous students hiding under the banner of false persecution have attempted to create a hostile atmosphere for students from marginalised communities."
Logie added: "I will not be dropping out of the race for rector simply because this person has been nominated – the students deserve a better option – however, I will not participate in the hustings on [March 16] if he shows up in person."
Other candidates – Graeme Eddolls, John Lindberg, and Thomas Hind – have voiced their frustration at Yiannopoulos's nomination, but confirmed they will attend the hustings later this month even if the controversial candidate appears.
Anwar will also attend the hustings, and a representative of candidate Lady Cosgrove, who is a leading Scottish judge, will appear at the event in her place as she has a pre-existing commitment that evening.
A spokesperson for Cosgrove added: "We don't wish to comment on the suitability of specific candidates, but would like to stress that we are of the opinion that there is no room for intolerance on campus."
Lindberg said he'll confront Yiannopoulos at the hustings event, adding: "The most effective way to combat what he stands for is to get more votes than his campaign, and that will not be achieved by boycotting hustings events or the election itself."
Hind, a physics graduate from Glasgow who is also standing for rector, said he'll only attend the hustings so he can formally insult Yiannopoulous.
"I would share a platform with him in the campaign, but only so I can call him a bawbag to his face," said Hind. "In fact, one of my manifesto pledges is to do exactly that. Another one is to call him one in my rector’s address."
Hind added: "To summarise, #MiloIsABawbag."
The anonymous group behind the Yiannopoulous campaign declined to comment. BuzzFeed News has also contacted Yiannopoulous.
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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