Liz Truss defends student who could face disciplinary action for saying 'women have vaginas'

24 May 2021, 11:41 | Updated: 24 May 2021, 12:25

By Sam Sholli

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has defended the free speech of a university student who defined a woman as "someone with a vagina" in a seminar.

Lisa Keogh, who is a 29-year-old mature law student at Abertay University, Dundee, is facing disciplinary action after saying "it was a fact" women are born with female genitals during a transgender discussion in an online seminar.

She also said the differences in physical strength between the average man and women is "a fact".

The mature student is currently under investigation by Abertay University following complaints, which the university has said is "required by law".

Responding to LBC's Nick Ferrari bringing up the controversy, Mrs Truss said: "Women do have vaginas, Nick."

Asked by Nick what she would say to people who seek to censor the student in question, Mrs Truss said: "Well, I think we need to uphold our very important tradition of free speech."

In a statement, Abertay University said: “To be clear, all Abertay students are free to express their views on campus, as long as this is not done in an intolerant or abusive way which would breach our code of student discipline.

“Press reporting and social media commentary around this case has centred around gender issues and statements such as 'women have vaginas' and 'men have penises', which are lawful statements and would categorically not lead to any University misconduct investigation, if expressed on campus in a reasonable manner.

“Our code of student discipline does not police freedom of speech or the nature of views put forward during classroom discussion or debate.

“We believe that all universities should uphold freedom of speech within the law and we are proud that Abertay is a place where difficult and controversial debate can take place within an academic environment.

“Scottish universities are required by law to investigate all complaints, whether by students, staff or members of the public.”

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