University Of Arts London Urged To Retract Rebekah Brooks Honorary Fellowship

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 15/05/2012 09:23 Updated: 15/05/2012 11:34

Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief, may lose her honorary fellowship at the University of Arts, London, after students and staff renewed calls for her to be stripped of her title.

The UAL was pressured as far back as July 2011 to retract Brooks' fellowship - which she was awarded in 2010 for her "contribution" to journalism.

The institution removed photos of Brooks at the ceremony after enquiries were made by the Guardian but Brooks still holds her title.

In a letter written to Steve Marshall, the university's registrar, staff and students have demanded the fellowship award be revoked immediately.

The letter asks the university to make a "moral and educational judgement of what is fit and proper journalism".

It also indicates the phone-hacking culture at News International conflicts with the university’s journalism and academic principles.

In response to the letter, Marshall replied: "UAL bestows honorary degrees and fellowships upon people it judges to have made considerable contributions to the creative and cultural industries.

"It would be inappropriate for the University to comment on allegations about the activities of The News of the World while police investigations are continuing."

“UAL embraces clear public interest values and teaches students to practice journalism with an ethical code of conduct in pursuit of the truth.”

SEE ALSO: Rebekah Brooks charged with perverting the course of justice

A spokesperson for the university said:

“University of the Arts London bestows honorary degrees and fellowships upon people it judges to have made considerable contributions to the creative and cultural industries. In 2010 Rebekah Brooks, an alumna of the University, was presented with an honorary fellowship in recognition of her achievements in journalism and the media, which include her appointment as The Sun’s first female editor in 2003 and her work as a founder member of the organisation Women in Journalism."

An online petition has procured 33 signatures, while a Facebook group titled "Withdraw Rebekah Brooks UAL award now!" has 541 members.

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