A British academic at the centre of a row over transgender rights and free speech has hit out at a “campaign of harassment” in an online statement published on Sunday.
The furore over Kathleen Stock’s view that people can change their gender but not their biological sex is the latest in a series of similar rows at university campuses across the UK.
Government ministers, some of whom have tweeted support of the academic, are currently pushing through legislation that will require universities in England to protect free speech.
Stock has faced accusations of transphobia and calls for her dismissal over her views.
The feminist professor of philosophy said in a statement on her website she had been unable to attend a debate because of fears for her safety on campus at the University of Sussex in southern England.
“Since the beginning of the week, I’ve been subject to a campaign of harassment, explicitly designed to have me fired for my academic views,” said Stock, who vigorously denies transphobia.
“Things escalated from there and now the police are involved and treating it as harassment.”
A group campaigning for Stock’s dismissal has described itself on Instagram as “an anonymous, unaffiliated group of queer, trans and non-binary students who will not allow our community to be slandered and harmed”.