I would like to seek the opinion of the House on this amendment. It has been a really valuable and important debate, and I recognise the enormous contribution the Minister has made to our deliberations. However, the OfS is a very powerful mechanism. It is not some patsy that is in the pockets of vice-chancellors; it is a very effective regulatory mechanism which is further strengthened in this Bill.
The people I most worry about are those young people wrestling with arranging events at their universities. It looks as if freedom of speech is some absolute and complete right—who could possibly challenge any freedom of speech? However, they are wrestling with practical questions. What if you discover that the invitation is for the same week as exam week, and a controversial speaker is coming just as the university is holding exams? What if the fundamentalist speaker, as part of his right to speak, is going to insist on gender segregation of the people attending the event? How do you judge those types of difficult questions?
It is hard enough at the moment for the young people who do it, some of whom, I suspect, may end up as Members of this House or another place. They do not need the threat of litigation hanging over them when they are reaching those decisions, so I beg to move my amendment.
Ayes 213, Noes 172.