UPDATE: Aamer Anwar has won the race to be the next rector for the University of Glasgow.
GLASGOW University’s 25,000 students will find out later today who gets to be their new Lord Rector.
The normally fairly sedate race to pick a weel kent face to represent students at the University’s Court has been hugely controversial this year, after notorious alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was nominated.
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Yiannopoulos, a British born, Trump supporting journalist, whose speaking events on American campuses have been met with riots, is one of 10 candidates for the position.
Lady Cosgrove, a former Senator of the College of Justice, and former Liberal Democrat Treasury minister Vince Cable are also in the race.
But favourite to win is Aamer Anwar, the prominent Glasgow-based lawyer. He told The National he wasn’t taking anything for granted, adding: “I’m conscious that the Lady Cosgrove is the establishment candidate with the official backing of the student unions, whilst those backing me have built a tremendous grassroots campaign representing a true cross-section of students."
He went on: “I've spoken to thousands of students who are angry and feel they have been taken for granted. I've spoken on library hill, in canteens, lectures, online... my message has been that all students must use their vote to send out a message of unity against the hatred of Milo.
"He is a vicious troll backed by anonymous keyboard warriors. I hope the university that I graduated from will stand up for diversity and inclusion and not allow his message of hatred to fill the vacuum.”
On a video shared on his campaign’s Facebook group, Milo argued that his candidacy was a vote for free speech, saying: “I don’t think any of my opponents in this election are remotely as well qualified as I am to stick up for students' interests, and to stick up for fun on campus, and your right to have a laugh, have a drink and crack a joke.”
Another candidate is Brace Belden, an American florist and conceptual artist who is in Syria fighting with the People’s Defense Units, who goes under the moniker PissPigGrandad.
Yesterday he tweeted: “FUTURE GLASGOW RECTOR SUPPORTS SENDING STUDENTS TO WORK IN THE FIELDS”
Polls opened yesterday at 9am and close today at 4am. Historically, turn-out is low, with the current rector, whistleblower Edward Snowden, winning with 3,124 votes last time.