© Getty/Brunel Students
Controversial columnist Katie Hopkins has issued a cutting retort to the students who walked out in protest at her involvement in a university debate, describing them as "ill-educated by reality" and indicative of an "offended young nation".
The Daily Mail writer used her column on the publication's website to lambast the behaviour of Brunel University students who turned their backs on her, describing their "closed thinking" as seeking "to deride and delegitimise anyone with an alternative opinion."
"Naturally I carried on regardless. Because, for them, I have no regard. Because they are already decided," she wrote.
Hopkins was part of a panel at Brunel debating whether the welfare state had a place in 2015 as part of the institution's 50th anniversary celebrations.
But as soon as Hopkins, who has previously compared refugees to cockroaches, started talking, students in the theatre stood up and turned their backs to her, before filing out of the auditorium.
In her Mail column, Hopkins suggests university is no longer a place which encourages inquisition, and that higher education merely reinforces students' views.
She wrote: "After what happened to me at Brunel University I wonder if we no longer teach students how to think but what to think."
Hopkins also makes reference to several hate speakers who she claims were "embraced" by Brunel students when they spoke at the institution.
She also claims Peter Beresford OBE, Brunel's Professor of Social Policy, helped organise the walkout after he tweeted his support for the students afterwards.
A professor staged my walk out. Yet Brunel students embraced extremist Doctor Fikry condoning rape in Allah's name https://t.co/XNvvlzHnVM— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) November 26, 2015
Hopkins has since re-tweeted messages of support for her views on the walkout.
These Brunel students are shameful, cannot handle a debate and an alternative opinion! I'm fearful for my generation! @KTHopkins— Harry Dawes (@DawesHarry) November 26, 2015
Have never been a big fan and it's not often I agree but @KTHopkins has hit the nail on the head with her response to the Brunel walkout.— Em Travs (@emilytravs) November 26, 2015
Nonetheless, those who took part in the silent protest have been widely praised for their tactics which they say aimed to protect free speech whilst also making clear objection to Hopkins' appearance.
TY students for showing difference & responding appropriately #bruneldebates— Sonia Poulton (@SoniaPoulton) November 24, 2015