De Montfort University students demand ‘anti-Semitic’ name should be changed

By Adam Rear

The Vijay Patel building on the De Montfort University campus.

Student campaigners at De Montfort University want the name of the university to be changed due to anti-Semitic behaviour from Simon De Montfort, the Earl of Leicester in the thirteenth century.

Simon De Montfort opposed Henry III and called a Parliament to meet in 1265 but was also known for being a strict Christian who expelled Jews from Leicester, encouraging murder and attacks on the Jewish community.

“This is not a name which is reflective of our core values and beliefs,” said Aisha Ishmail, the student opportunities and engagement executive on the university’s Students’ Union (DSU), in a statement launching a campaign calling for the name change.

The DSU is calling for the name of the university to be changed by 2023.

In a statement to the Leicester Mercury, the university responded: “DMU absolutely stands against racism in all its forms, including anti-Semitism.

“As an educational and research institution, we welcome honest and critical debate and accept that this will involve difficult discussions around historical figures such as Simon De Montfort.”