NUS reaches settlement with sacked president

Terms of the deal with Shaima Dallali will however be kept confidential

Terms of the deal with Shaima Dallali will however be kept confidential

The National Union of Students has reached a confidential settlement with a former president who was sacked over allegations of antisemitism.

Shaima Dallali hired law firm Carter-Ruck last year as she launched an employment tribunal against the union, claiming she was subject to “discriminatory conduct”.

Dallali was elected NUS president in March 2022 and started the role in July, but was dismissed in November 2022 after the union said there had been “significant breaches” of its policies. 

The “breaches” related to historic social media posts, including one from 2012 which referenced a massacre of Jews in 628. Dallali later apologised for the post and called it “unacceptable”.

Dallali, who is the first NUS president to ever be sacked, claimed her dismissal was motivated by “antipathy towards her protected anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian protected beliefs, the fact that she supported the Palestinians and her religion as a Muslim”.

The case has now been settled out of court, but the terms of settlement will not be disclosed.

A joint statement from Carter-Ruck and NUS, released today, said: “NUS accepts that pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist beliefs may be protected beliefs, as may pro-Zionist beliefs.

“As a private individual Ms Dallali is, and as president of NUS she was, entitled to hold protected beliefs.

“As has been noted repeatedly in the media, NUS was very concerned by a tweet that was written by Ms Dallali when she was a teenager, before she was even a student, in 2012. Ms Dallali has accepted that while it was not her intention, the tweet was antisemitic. Both parties accept that Ms Dallali has repeatedly apologised for that tweet.”

The statement said that through the proceedings Dallali has suffered “truly horrific abuse”, which has included “death threats, threats of sexual assault and flagrant Islamophobia”.

“This is wholly unacceptable, and NUS categorically condemn it,” the statement added. “Ms Dallali now has the right to move on with her life and her career free from harassment or abuse.”

Dallali said: “I am pleased that we have been able to resolve matters and that I can put this matter behind me.

“I am an anti-Zionist and a proud pro-Palestinian. Following today’s settlement, I look forward to being able to focus on continuing to dedicate myself to the Palestinian cause and to serving my community.”

Dallali’s term of office as NUS president would have ended this July. NUS has been led by its vice president higher education, Chloe Field since Dallali’s dismissal. A new president, Amira Campbell, was elected last month and will take office in July.

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