UPDATE 28/11/2014, 1808: The University of East Anglia's student union today overturned a decision to cancel an event involving a UKIP parliamentary candidate after claims it had restricted freedom of speech.
In a statement on Facebook, the union said that the politics society could hold an event with members of UKIP, on the condition that there was another speaker who provided an alternative view.
"The principal regulatory step additional to those already identified is taken to require that the event includes clear debate and challenge to the views of the external speaker via an opposing speaker chosen on the basis of robust and fair challenge," the statement said.
A counter-petition on change.org gained 320 supporters overnight and called on the union to allow UKIP to speak on the campus "for the simple sake of fair and just democracy".
The student union yesterday cancelled the event featuring UKIP candidate Steve Emmens to take place on Thursday evening because "procedure" had not been followed.
The decision yesterday followed an anti-UKIP petition on change.org that called for the university to move the event off campus and reached over 1,000 signatories.
The petition, launched by international public policy and public management student Timea Suli, called on the student union to cancel the event "to protect students who feel intimidated or degraded by the party. Help us keep our campus a safe, productive, and caring place, where we can all work together regardless of who we are and where we come from."
Suli added that the university would abandon its values if it held the event, which was organised by the Political, International and Social Studies society.
It would have seen UKIP chairperson Eric Masters and Emmens, the party's parliamentary candidate for Norwich South, speak in a lecture hall at the university on Thursday evening.
UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, a UEA alumnus, quickly criticised the decision on Twitter, blaming it on "student lefties".
UEA's postgraduate education officer told Carswell that the event was cancelled to "ensure that all of our members feel safe", adding that the party had not been banned from the campus.
He said the university would decide whether Carswell will be allowed speak at an already organised event in January.
Many people criticised the decision to cancel the event, arguing that it was against freedom of speech.
Students at the University of Essex, a region where UKIP has a strong base, are reportedly trying to ban a similar event.
Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Siraj Datoo at email@example.com.
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