Jeremy Morris served as Master of Trinity Hall for seven yearsAndrew Hynes

Content note: This article contains discussion of sexual assault and misconduct.

Revd Canon Dr. Jeremy Morris, who has served as Master of Trinity Hall since 2014, has officially resigned following allegations he mishandled a sexual misconduct complaint. His resignation, announced today in an official statement by Trinity Hall, comes after widely-publicised allegations and mass outcry among students, staff and alumni. 

In February 2020, an investigation by Tortoise Media implicated Morris among various senior figures at Trinity Hall accused of mishandling allegations of sexual misconduct. Specifically, the report claimed that Morris heard a sexual assault complaint against acting Senior Tutor Dr. William O’Reilly in May 2018, but nevertheless permitted O’Reilly to remain in his post for five months without launching any proper investigation or ‘preventative action’. 

Moreover, the investigation alleged that a 2018 case in which multiple women reported being assaulted by the same male student at Trinity Hall was mishandled and was never revisited, despite concerns raised by external lawyers. In his position as Acting Senior Tutor, O’Reilly was permitted to oversee the womens’ complaints, despite the serious allegations against him at that time.

O’Reilly has “strenuously” denied the allegations levelled against him. 

In light of the Tortoise Media investigation,  various open letters calling for Morris’ resignation amassed hundreds of signatures. Meanwhile, the Cambridge University Students’ Union released a statement calling for Morris to step down from his  “untenable” position, claiming that he had “demonstrated a total disregard for his duty of care to the students of Trinity Hall.” 

In late February 2020, both Morris and O’Reilly agreed to temporarily withdraw from their College duties pending an internal review, but stopped short of fully resigning. 

Today, a year and a half later, Morris has officially entirely resigned from his post.

In light of the allegations, Trinity Hall’s Governing Body commissioned an independent external inquiry, led by barrister Gemma White QC. According to the College’s official statement, the Inquiry Report – which has yet to be released in its entirety – recommended that the College consider disciplinary action against Morris in relation to his handling of “one allegation made against a third party”. The College’s Governing Body reportedly agrees with the inquiry’s findings, and has determined that “there is a prima facie case for disciplinary action”. 


Mountain View

Pressure mounts on Trinity Hall Master to resign over handling of sexual misconduct

Morris has disputed the recommendation of disciplinary action, citing the independent inquiry’s recognition that a number of contributors “praised his personal support” for those who had made complaints regarding sexual abuse.

However, according to Trinity Hall’s statement, he considers “that it is in the best interests of the College for him to offer his resignation, given the difficulties of the last 18 months, to enable the search for a new Master to begin”.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the following organisations provide support and resources: