THE president of the Catholic League says he has been 'lied to' by a 'delinquent' Oxford Union president, after his invitation to take part in a debate was cancelled.

Bill Donohue was invited to participate in a debate titled "The House Believes The Catholic Church Can Never Pay For Its Sins."

But after appearing to have his place on the panel confirmed for February 28, the Union said it had offered Donohue's spot to someone else 'as we did not hear back from you'.

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However, email correspondence suggests that Mr Donohue had confirmed his place.

He said: "I have been lied to by the Oxford Union. Either no one will debate me or someone got to Wilkinson and nixed the invitation. Either way, it shows what a fraud these people are. They speak endlessly about the virtue of free speech and their commitment to honest debates, yet their public pronouncements are belied by their actions.

"That [Oxford Union President Daniel] Wilkinson chose not to reply to my letter—I gave him two days—makes him doubly delinquent. It does not speak well for the Oxford Union that they have people like him in senior positions."

The Oxford Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But, in an email to Mr Donohue, representative Beatrice Barr wrote: "I really hope that should a similar opportunity arise in the future we'll be able to have Bill's voice in it - I'm really sorry that scheduling has meant is [sic] hasn't worked out this time."

In its response, the Catholic League wrote: "Dr. Donohue assures that you have not heard the last of this."

In November last year, around 1,000 people demonstrated outside the Union when President Trump's former right hand man Steve Bannon spoke. The Union defended its invitation on free speech grounds.