An MP has congratulated student campaigners after two more Oxford colleges pledge to end the use of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual harassment and bullying.

Keble College and Linacre College have joined Lady Margaret Hall in agreeing to end the practice.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran raised the issue during the Queen’s Speech debate in Parliament earlier this month. 

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This comes after Lady Margaret Hall was accused by a student in April of imposing a “blanket gagging clause” to silence her after she alleged, she was violently raped by another student.

thisisoxfordshire: Keble CollegeKeble College

Ms Moran received support from the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who also agreed to meet and discuss the testimonies of students who are under such agreements.

The MP has also written to all Oxford colleges asking them to sign up to the pledge, which is supported by the Universities minister Michelle Donelan.

The campaign has been spearheaded by ‘It Happens Here’ Oxford, a student-led group which supports survivors of sexual violence.

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The group has received testimonies from a number of students across different colleges who are under non-disclosure agreements and clauses.

There remain 36 Oxford colleges that still have not signed up to the pledge against non-disclosure agreements.

thisisoxfordshire: Event at Deneke Dining Room at Lady Margaret HallEvent at Deneke Dining Room at Lady Margaret Hall

Ms Moran said: “I am very pleased to see that the hard work of student campaigners has begun to pay dividends, with two further colleges signing this pledge.

“The use of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual assault is immoral and unnecessary and I am glad Keble and Linacre College have joined Lady Margaret Hall in committing to end the practice. I will continue to campaign for other Oxford Colleges to do so too.

thisisoxfordshire: MP Layla MoranMP Layla Moran

“I firmly believe that signing this pledge will help students feel safer at university, but it is just a first step in supporting survivors of sexual violence and improving support services. I am, of course, always ready to hear from and assist any students in my constituency who are affected by these issues, and I encourage them to get in touch with me.”

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Ffion Samuels, a representative from It Happens Here, said: “I am very pleased that Linacre and Keble College have listened to our calls to sign the pledge. Students across the University of Oxford are standing in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence and asking their colleges to do more.

“For the survivors we have spoken to, signing a non-disclosure agreement or clause adds significant emotional distress. Survivors should never be prevented from speaking out about their experiences.

“It Happens Here will continue to stand up for survivors and to put pressure on the University to do more.” 

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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