The National Union of Students has called for an independent investigation into allegations of antisemitism within its ranks.

On Wednesday, following a board meeting, the NUS announced an investigation into the allegations, following concerns over remarks made on social media by the president-elect, as well as the invitation of controversial musician Lowkey to an NUS event.

The NUS said in a statement: “There can be no place for antisemitism within the student movement.

“We are listening to the concerns being raised and we’re very concerned about the pain and hurt being expressed.

“We will take any and all actions that are needed to remedy any wrongdoing and rebuild trust with Jewish students as well as our members, partners and stakeholders.”

The news follows concerns raised by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) over an invitation to rapper Lowkey to an NUS centenary event.

The musician has previously said that the media had “weaponised the Jewish heritage of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky”.

Lowkey later withdrew from the event, but a letter from former NUS presidents to the current leadership, published on Tuesday, highlighted the NUS’s initial response to worried Jewish students – which suggested they go to a “safe space” for students who disliked loud noise during Lowkey’s concert.

The letter also raised concern over remarks on social media made by the president-elect.

Shaima Dallali wrote “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return #Gaza” on social media in 2012, referring to a massacre of Jews in 628. She has since apologised for the post.

“Taken together, and with a number of other concerns raised by Jewish students over recent years, it is clear NUS has a serious and significant problem,” the letter said.

The NUS said that the investigation will look into the invitation of a “speaker booked for one of our conferences as well as a review of allegations of a wider culture of antisemitism within NUS”.

“In relation to the president elect, the independent investigation will look into a range of comments and actions that are alleged to have taken place over the last decade,” they added.

They said they would make sure that the investigation had “the confidence of Jewish students” and that they would make sure that no one connected to the allegations or incidents would be able to influence its outcome.

The NUS said it would appoint a “highly regarded independent party” to conduct the inquiry, and would consult with the Union of Jewish Students in making the appointment.

“Whoever is appointed must have the confidence of Jewish students,” the NUS said.

The NUS added that it had adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism in 2018 and that in the recent past, it had acted on antisemitism through removing a member of the National Council in 2018, as well as removing an election candidate in 2019 in line with policies on antisemitism.

Chair of the Commons’ education select committee Robert Halfon called for the NUS to be investigated by the Charity Commission over the allegations.

On Wednesday, the NUS said that it was not a charity and “not subject to a Charity Commission investigation”.

“However, NUS willingly holds itself to the highest standards,” it added, stating that its charity board had written to the Charity Commission to clarify that the allegations only related to events and incidents within NUS UK.

Higher education Michelle Donelan has said she is considering refusing to engage with the NUS over the issue.

The NUS said that “on a technical level, there is no such thing as being ‘banned’ from Government engagement”.

It added: “However, individual Government bodies and individuals may choose to disengage from NUS at their discretion.

“We hope that this will not happen and that colleagues in Government will be satisfied that we are taking swift and appropriate action to address the allegations.”