Lawyer Aamer Anwar elected as new Glasgow University rector

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar. Picture: John Devlin
Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar. Picture: John Devlin
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Scottish human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar has been voted in the next rector of the University of Glasgow.

Anwar, 49, will succeed incumbent rector, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, whose three-year term now comes to an end.

The prominent lawyer was elected by students ahead of controversial alt-right journalist Milo Yiannopoulos and former Lib Dem leader and minister, Sir Vince Cable.

Anwar received 4,458 votes out of more than 8,000 cast by students at the university, some 2,000 more than the last ballot.

On winning the election, he said: “I want to start by thanking my team of students who have worked day and night to finally give Glasgow University an active working rector.

“It is a team that was full of passion, ingenuity, integrity and always a sense of humour but what surprised me was how they always managed to keep me in line.

“It is truly humbling that the students of Glasgow University have entrusted me as their next rector.

“It is a great honour to walk in the footsteps of the late Jimmy Reid, Edward Snowden, Mordechai Vanunu.”

It is not the first time Anwar has been nominated for the position. He finished as runner-up in the 2008 election behind former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy.

Milo Yiannopoulos received just 533 votes, coming forth in poll behind Lady Hazel Cosgrove, who received 1409 votes, and Cable on 535.

Yiannopoulos was considered a controversial nomination after he was forced to resign from far right news site Breitbart after causing controversy over remarks he made alleging sexual relationships between younger boys and adults could be “consensual”.

Looking ahead to his term as rector, Anwar added: “In three years ahead I pledge to bend every resource of heart and mind and work in partnership with the University, but it must be a partnership of equals.

“It is clear having spoken to thousands of students, that for years their voices have not been heard.

“Students have suffered the brunt of cuts, spiralling debt and rents, but no one should be left to suffer in silence any longer.”