WINCHESTER University has scrapped a talk by a controversial politician after an online backlash. 

More than 700 people signed a petition calling on the university to drop the talk by Justice for Men and Boys party leader Mike Buchanan, entitled ‘Equal rights for men and women’, which had been due to take place on Friday.

The petition said: "While feminism welcomes men and discusses men's issues, this group is not inclusive or concerned with equality for all. Rather, they give 'awards' to 'whiny feminist of the month' and 'gormless feminist of the month', as well as supporting articles such as '13 reasons why women lie about being raped'.

"There are societies at Winchester such as the Feminist Society and Spectrum who could be directly threatened by this speech and these people being on campus. We want women to feel safe on our campus, and these men do not help in that effort."

Now a spokesman for Winchester University has said: "The event with Justice for Men and Boys will not be going ahead. The university, and a significant number of students and staff, had concerns about this event.

"When members of staff invite a guest speaker in to speak with students, this should in no way be interpreted as the university supporting or endorsing their views.

"Like all universities, Winchester values intellectual freedom and free speech... However, events should be balanced and provide space for healthy challenge and debate."

Responding to news of the event, Holly Kybett Smith tweeted the university to say: “Is this the mindset you want your students to be listening to and learning from? There are a number of young women living on your campus whose safety could be endangered by this man’s ideas.”

Student Hannah Wade commented on the petition: “I feel so ashamed of my university... for giving hate speech like this a platform.”

Former student Joshua Bradshaw added: "As a graduate of Winchester I would not want to be associated with these misogynists. Talking about issues men face is important, but these guys are not focusing on that, they’re using as a platform to reinforce their backwards and hateful views."