Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA) members rejected attempts to ban members of the Bullingdon Club from competing in OUCA committee elections at a meeting of Council on Wednesday night.

The meeting took place following recent attempt by OUCA President Ben Etty to ban members of the Bullingdon Club, and its subsequent reversal.

OUCA President Ben Etty told Cherwell that the events of council leading to the stopping of a vote “were extremely regrettable, but necessary to protect the Association against the actions of a minority of members”.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, a former OUCA President, Alex Bruce, put forward a Standing Order amendment which would have banned Bullingdon Club members serving on OUCA committee if passed. Cherwell understands he did this expecting the amendment to fall and to put to rest the Bullingdon ban debate.

As the amendment was moved to discussion, Etty, President-Elect James Beaumont, and Treasurer Tim Reilly abruptly closed the Council meeting. Despite subsequent attempts to continue to a vote, the issue of Bullingdon Club members and OUCA remains unresolved until next week’s meeting.

Etty told Cherwell: “Myself, the President-elect, and many others have fought tirelessly to make OUCA a more inclusive, tolerant and welcoming environment for those of all backgrounds.

“We firmly believe that banning members of the Bullingdon Club from holding office is a basic requirement for any self-respecting Association that claims to represent the modern Conservative Party.

“The events of council yesterday were extremely regrettable, but necessary to protect the Association against the actions of a minority of members whose moves to stop the Bullingdon ban are extremely frustrating and quite frankly baffling.”

According to The Oxford Student, one of the paper’s reporters was ejected from the room for their conduct being “contrary good order, offensive, demaning or otherwise unacceptable”. The reporter denies behaving in a disorderly way.

For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!