*Trigger warning – mentions of rape, rape denial*
A month ago, feminist activists in Liverpool discovered that Martin Smith – the ex-Socialist Workers Party and Unite Against Fascism leader at the centre of rape allegations which the Party covered up – had been given afunded PhD at Liverpool Hope University. This happened in the Social Work department, which is headed by Smith’s former SWP colleague Michael Lavalette.
The University publicly – through Lavalette’s Facebook page – denied that the Professor had acted improperly in regards to PhD candidateselection. Many took this as a tacit admission that Smith had indeed been given a PhD place. Activists called a mass questioning of the university – by phone, email and fax – asking for further clarification. None was forthcoming.
It has now come to the attention of the Delta Removals campaign that Smith has been put on a distance learning course, meaning that he will only be attending campus infrequently, and may well not be staying in the Liverpool area. This information comes from an anonymous but trusted source.
It is worth emphasising that Hope University – unlike the other two universities in Liverpool – does not currently have a distance learningprogramme. As Smith was on campus at the start of our campaign, this distance learning placement has therefore been created specifically for him following our activities.
Getting him off campus is great news, and should be chalked up as a victory. It shows what can be done with personal determination and political courage. However, questions remain about the future of Smith’s career, and it could be disastrous if he ends up in social work – either in the field or in a teaching role.
We would like to thank all those who have supported us, and we would ask you to spread the word if you hear any more of Smith’s career developments.