The Chairman's Dinner was held in Trinity Old KitchensMichael Derringer

Over ten attendees walked out of the termly Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) Chairman’s dinner last night, following remarks made by the guest speaker, Breitbart London executive editor James Delingpole.

During his speech, which CUCA had described as an “educational talk on Global Political Change”, Delingpole made several comments about political correctness, and remarked that “apparently” we are in an age where having sex with underage women is unacceptable, according to multiple attendees.

Delingpole’s remarks prompted around a quarter of those present – over ten people – to walk out.

According to one member present, Delingpole first made “exceedingly flippant remarks about consent”. By 15 minutes into Delingpole’s speech, close to ten members had walked out.

Shortly after, Delingpole joked “first you need to make a lot of money, so you can send your private school.” A CUCA member described his comments as “classist drivel devoid of intellectual substance”, and “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Attendees said Delingpole went on to make another joke about Jimmy Savile, a former BBC presenter who was alleged to have serially sexually abused children. Delingpole remarked on backlash he received to a previous speech, comparing current debates around political correctness to how allegations about Savile were treated.

Delingpole said it is “apparently now unacceptable to have sex with underage girls”, in reference to Savile. Five or six more people left the room in response. An eyewitness told Varsity that no one in the room laughed.

One CUCA member told Varsity he had quit the society over the incident. He described the atmosphere in the room as “tense”, noting that “many of the people there besides those who walked out were shocked and disgusted by what was said”, including members of the CUCA committee.

Delingpole has written for the Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Spectator. He has previously described himself as a libertarian conservative. The page for the event had described his speech as an “educational talk on Global Political Change.”

Delingpole did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, the CUCA committee said: “CUCA does not endorse the viewpoints or perspectives expressed by any of the speakers that it invites. All comments made by the speaker are solely the opinions of the speaker. None of it was predetermined by the Association.

“We should add that the speaker invited has spoken at the Cambridge Union, is a frequent columnist at the Spectator, and has regularly appeared on BBC Daily Politics and Question Time.”

The Chairman’s Dinner, described by CUCA as its “headline event for this Easter Term”, was held in the Trinity Old Kitchens, with five courses and paired wines.


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CUCA previously came under fire earlier this year for hosting a speaking event with former Rhodesian cabinet minister Denis Walker in April, originally marketing it as ‘The Rhodesian Reception’.

The CUCA member who resigned over last night’s events added, “I think any decent person knows the difference between right and wrong. What Delingpole said was categorically wrong. Hiding behind ‘free speech’ doesn’t make it any less so.”

One attendee said: “it was disgusting and several people were enraged and walked out and of those who didn’t many found it vulgar”.

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