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Image: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Tory students in Scotland burn an effigy of Barack Obama

The students at the University of St Andrews burned the likeness of the American president on a bonfire at the weekend. The president of the Conservative society has apologised and said it was a “stupid thing to do”.
Nov 23rd 2011, 3:34 PM 2,158 13

A TORY STUDENT society at the University of St Andrews in Scotland burned an effigy of Barack Obama on a bonfire at the weekend.

The university has said it is aware of the incident and has requested to meet the head of the student society to discuss “concerns”.

Matthew Marshall, president of the University of St Andrews Conservative Association, said that it was “a stupid thing to do” and apologised for any offence caused, according to the BBC.

The incident is believed to have taken place on Friday night on a beach near the university.

A former chair of the Labour society in the university tweeted that the Conservative society has in the past burned effigies of Gordon Brown and Nelson Mandela.

The St Andrews Student Union has condemned the burning of the figure, saying that while it believes in political debate, the burning of “political or public figures in effigy can be an act of hate, stifles productive engagement and can be offensive”.

“As such we deplore the burning in effigy of political or public figures regardless of sex, race, political persuasion or any other distinction,” it said in a statement.

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Christine Bohan

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