Excl. statement: Aaron Porter not running again


11:38 am - February 21st 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The NUS President Aaron Porter has said today has he will not be seeking a second term as President, which is almost unprecedented in the union’s history.

Liberal Conspiracy has the full statement:

Dear All

The last few months have been momentous. Our response to the Government’s austerity measures will go down in the history books. We’ve kick started a wave of student action, brought the coalition to its knees, and we’ve shaped the public debate on education in an unprecedented fashion. This campaign began over 3 years ago- a long-term strategy to deliver a real alternative to a market in fees, and it’s a campaign I have been heavily involved in from the very beginning as a student officer in Leicester, as Vice President (Higher Education) and then as NUS President.

The Government’s decision to treble tuition fees was a bitter pill to swallow- and whilst a number of concessions were secured, notably for part-time students as well as an increased threshold of repayment for all graduates, this was still not the outcome we wanted. Thousands of students will now decide that Higher Education is not for them- and the ones that do get to go will be plunged into an era of market chaos. It’s a tragedy- and one that requires relentless pressure, both locally and nationally, to ensure that it is exposed and replaced with something better as soon as possible.

So this new regime brings with it a new landscape, and I believe NUS now needs reinvigorating into the next phase of this campaign. After considerable soul searching, I believe there needs to be a new President to lead the student movement into that next phase. As a result, I’ve resolved not to seek re-election at National Conference this year.

The challenge for a new National President will be great. They’ll need to support students’ unions and student officers to get the best deal for students, whilst running a major national campaign to defeat damaging marketization in education. They’ll need to build activism and radicalism on the ground whilst defending legitimate, democratic students’ unions from attack from our enemies. Above all, they’ll need a fresh outlook- because if we are to reach out, and engage with, the full diversity of our membership, we need to move beyond the tired rhetoric and redundant tactics of some factional groups.

I want to say thank you to the hundreds of students and student officers who have been so supportive this year, and indeed for the nominations for a second term which I had already been sent. It goes without saying that with a white paper on its way, the next four months remain a huge opportunity for the organisation, and I will be relentless in ensuring I do the very best I can in the role.

We should continue to be proud of what we have achieved, and it has been an honour to be President at this time. If I have one criticism of this year, it would be that we have not been quick enough to talk about our achievements – and I hope we can pause for a moment to remedy this.

Let’s push on to make sure we credit ourselves for what we have achieved, and ensure we work together to push NUS and the student movement to the next level.

In unity,

Aaron Porter

The NUS elections are due in April.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


The phrases “lame duck” and “good riddance” spring to mind.

He seems to have very much inflated his (and the NUS’) role in the recent student movement. He in fact abandoned students when they needed his representation most, instead characterising them as violent yobs, just like the media was doing.

Porter could not legitimately continue to represent the students he let down and so has done something right in not seeking re-election. But he should also not be allowed to turn this into a springboard for a political career – he has already been exposed as someone who is prone to lies and U-turns. Sounds familiar?

We’ve kick started a wave of student action, brought the coalition to its knees, and we’ve shaped the public debate on education in an unprecedented fashion.

Define ‘we’ Aaron…

Good riddance.

4. Charles Knight

Porter needs police protection from his own members, he knows the game is up. I will not shed too many tears as he’s sure to keep riding the political gravy train.

Honesty and integrity will usually find a way of declaring itself.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jonathan Calder

    RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  2. Andrew Tindall

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  3. Ceehaitch

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  4. manishta sunnia

    NUS’ Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/RkaO9ch via @libcon

  5. Jonathan Haynes

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  6. GuyAitchison

    Good riddance >> RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  7. Harry Cole

    RT @GuyAitchison: Good riddance >> RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  8. Jonathan Davis

    RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  9. Bob Piper

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  10. Sian Ruddick

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/02/21/nus-aaron-porter-not-seeking-re-election-his-full-statement/ Aaron Porter won't stand again. YipYip!

  11. Patrick Kingsley

    Porter: New president will "need to build activism and radicalism on the ground" < And he should know http://bit.ly/hA276o #demo2011

  12. Tamsin Dunedain

    RT @libcon: #NUS President Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o -> Over to politics proper, I bet.

  13. Leon Green

    NUS’ @AaronPorter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://t.co/CAJwpIl via @libcon

  14. Alasdair Thompson

    RT @GuyAitchison: Good riddance >> RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  15. sean gittins

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  16. sean gittins

    RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  17. Citrus Spring

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  18. Adam Vanner

    RT @leongreen: NUS’ @AaronPorter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://t.co/CAJwpIl via @libcon

  19. Sam Coates

    RT @GuyAitchison: Good riddance >> RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  20. Lawrence Mills

    NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  21. James Field

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  22. James Bailey

    NUS’ Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/owk5Vbf via @libcon

  23. nilsinela boray

    Aaron Porter – "we need to move beyond the tired rhetoric and redundant tactics of some factional groups." http://bit.ly/fP7jCx

  24. Richard Taylor

    NUS’ @AaronPorter's statement he won't seek reelection http://t.co/CAJwpIl shows he thought the job was to "lead the student movement"

  25. Aaron Stebbings

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  26. Stephen Lintott

    RT @RTaylorUK: NUS’ @AaronPorter's statement he won't seek reelection http://t.co/CAJwpIl shows he thought the job was to "lead the stud …

  27. dan hancox

    BYE BYE PORTER! http://bit.ly/hA276o student movement in NOT DEAD shocker! might help if students get a leader that supports them now!

  28. Hugh McCallion

    RT @danhancox: BYE BYE PORTER! http://bit.ly/hA276o student movement in NOT DEAD shocker! might help if students get a leader that suppo …

  29. Seb Wheeler

    RT @danhancox: BYE BYE PORTER! http://bit.ly/hA276o student movement in NOT DEAD shocker! might help if students get a leader that suppo …

  30. Dani Nobody

    RT @GuyAitchison: Good riddance >> RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  31. Wail Qasim

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  32. AdamRamsay

    Wow, missed this – Aaron is standing down: http://bit.ly/gf1Oy1. Anyone know the full story?

  33. Ma

    RT @AdamRamsay: Wow, missed this – Aaron is standing down: http://bit.ly/gf1Oy1. Anyone know the full story?

  34. Government Knowledge

    NUS’ Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bixlLuz via @libcon

  35. Pucci Dellanno

    Does he think he is some old style dictator? RT @libcon NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  36. Polleetickle Time

    @AaronPorter reckons the coalition is at its knees. Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/gmcPTN < I assume its a position he recognises.

  37. Charlesknight

    RT @polleetickle: @AaronPorter reckons the coalition is at its knees. Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/gmcPTN < I assume its a posit …

  38. Emily Davis

    RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  39. Double.Karma

    RT @libcon: NUS' Aaron Porter not seeking re-election – his full statement http://bit.ly/hA276o

  40. Double.Karma

    RT @sunny_hundal: The full statement by NUS President Aaron Porter on why he is not seeking re-election http://bit.ly/hA276o

  41. Harry Giles

    Resignation letter from @AaronPorter http://bit.ly/hn6Mou Yawn. The only thing in it I care about is the ugliness of his use of "whilst".

  42. bitlynewsfeed

    NUS Aaron Porter not seeking re-election his full statement | Liberal Conspi http://goo.gl/fb/46asj

  43. Shame on you: the physical intimidation of Aaron Porter | Political Scrapbook

    […] a move almost unprecedented in NUS history, the sitting president Aaron Porter has announced he will not contest a second term in April. And, viewing the video below, can anyone really be […]

  44. Five reasons why Aaron Porter was right not to seek re-election | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] re-election by Owen Jones     February 21, 2011 at 11:57 am It’s official: Aaron Porter will no longer be the British student movement’s official figurehead. For only the second time since 1969, a NUS […]

  45. Sam Liu

    Porter's full statement on why he isn't seeking re-election: http://bit.ly/f6MCPf Good riddance to a poor leader.

  46. liberalideals

    Full statement: Aaron Porter not running again | Liberal Conspiracy: NUS Aaron Porter not seeking re-election hi… http://bit.ly/i1cNTj

  47. Oscar Power

    RT @SaiPang: Porter's full statement on why he isn't seeking re-election: http://bit.ly/f6MCPf Good riddance to a poor leader.

  48. usevalue

    @HarryGiles Great to hear about Porter.
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/02/21/nus-aaron-porter-not-seeking-re-election-his-full-statement/

  49. Labour and the anti-cuts movement | openDemocracy

    […] suggested that the decline and fall of NUS President Aaron Porter, who gave the welcome news he would not be re-standing that afternoon, provided a salutary lesson for political leaders who […]

  50. Claudio Carvalho

    Excl. statement: Aaron Porter not running again | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QrkgtlV





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