26 May 2022

PCS complaint: misconduct of OfS Chair

PCS has made a formal complaint about OfS chair, James Wharton's appearance at Conservative Political Action Conference, alongside denounced racist Zsolt Bayer.

PCS reps at the Office for Students (OfS) have written to OFS management regarding the chair of the OfS board, Conservative Peer James Wharton.

On Friday 20 May he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, at the same event as the denounced racist Zsolt Bayer. Wharton also shared a platform with, and expressed support for, Viktor Orbán who is widely criticised for threatening liberal democracy and liberal democratic institutions, as well as interfering in the running of universities in Hungary.  

The chair sharing a platform with a known racist and antisemite undermines OfS’ vital work on tackling harassment in the higher education sector, including racial and religious harassment, and most importantly undermines the confidence of students, in whose interests the OfS works.

Read our letter to management in full.

Furthermore, PCS has written a letter of complaint to the Department of Education (DfE) Permanent Secretary, notifying her of the misconduct of OfS chair, James Wharton, outlining the Code of Conduct violation and demanding a full investigation into this behaviour.