Number 10 appeared to make a veiled threat to Oxford University after a student group cancelled a talk by Tory Amber Rudd.
The former Work and Pensions Secretary was due to give a talk to the UNWomen Oxford UK Society on Thursday night.
But following complaints from members who were upset about Ms Rudd's connection to the Windrush scandal, the group's committee voted to cancel the event.
Ms Rudd tweeted to say the decision to cancel the event at short notice was "badly judged and rude."
In response, the Prime Minister's deputy spokesman said the government was "committed to universities being a space where free speech can thrive."
And he pointed reporters to an article by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson which warned Universities could face sanctions for failing to "take action" against groups that disinvite speakers following protests about their views.
An Oxford University spokesperson said they “strongly disapprove” of the decision to cancel Ms Rudd’s appearance and would be "taking steps to ensure that this situation doesn't happen in future."
It’s unclear what shape these “steps” would take.
UN Women Oxford posted on its Facebook page: "Following a majority vote in committee, tonight's event with speaker Amber Rudd has been cancelled.
"We are deeply sorry for all and any hurt caused to our members and other wom*n and non binary people in Oxford over this event."
The group had invited Ms Rudd to speak about her experience of being a woman in Parliament, while also promising an "honest and frank discussion" about the impact of her policies.
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