Lecturers at an Oxford University College are refusing to teach students until the college topples the statue of Cecil Rhodes, it has been reported.

Last month, Oriel College was accused of ‘institutional racism’ after its governing body said it would not seek to move the monument to the British imperialist from its position outside the building.

According to the Daily Telegraph, more than 150 lecturers have since refused to give tutorials to Oriel’s undergraduate students following the decision.

Lecturers reportedly pledged to withdraw from all talks, seminars and conferences sponsored by Oriel and stop their involvement in interviewing students and recruiting fellows.

However, the boycott does not include work which is not discretionary, such as exams, delivering lecturers and supervising postgraduate students.

Read also: Royal portrait row: When the Queen visited Magdalen College

The chairman of the Office for Students, Lord Wharton, criticised the lecturers and said it would be ‘utterly unacceptable’ if students were left disadvantaged.

Tim Loughton, a former minister for children and families, added: “This is academic blackmail by a group of academics who think their own political views should trump everyone else’s, and if they don’t get their own way then any innocent students who happen to fall within their boycott will become the victims.”

In June last year, an independent inquiry was set up to examine Rhodes’ legacy after the governing body of Oriel College showed their wish to remove the statue.

However, three weeks ago the college announced it had decided against removing the statue and argued that the time frame and cost were ‘considerable obstacles’.

A statement from the Rhodes Must Fall campaign said the decision was ‘an act of institutional racism’. 

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