Queen’s academics back under-fire Professor John Brewer over Brexit tweet

Professor  John Brewer
Professor John Brewer
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Academics have lined up in support of a Queen’s University professor after he sparked controversy by declaring “hell is too good” for no-deal Brexiteers.

John Brewer, who is professor of Post Conflict Studies, caused a storm on social media this week with his remarks, which were in reaction to European Commission president Donald Tusk’s suggestion there will be a “special place in hell” for those who promoted Brexit without any plan for how to safely deliver it.

In response, Prof Brewer – who has previously written about the need for forgiveness after conflict and “public tolerance and compromise”, – tweeted: “Special place in hell for no deal Brexiteers? Hell is too good for them.”

His words provoked a mixed reaction, with some Twitter users praising Prof Brewer for his viewpoint, while others branded his comment “disgraceful” and “shameful” and some even called for him to resign.

DUP Ards and North Down councillor Peter Martin has written to Queen’s vice chancellor Professor Ian Greer concerning the matter.

And DUP MP and arch-Brexiteer Sammy Wilson urged the academic to think about the example he is setting his students.

But several academics have expressed their solidarity with Prof Brewer on social media.

Tony Gallagher, professor of education at Queen’s said he was “proud” of his “friend and colleague”.

Dr Joanne Murphy, a senior lecturer at Queen’s Management School, extended her “sympathies” to Prof Brewer, claiming he has been subjected to “huge abuse” due to his remarks.

Dr Caoimhe Ni Dhonaill, a research fellow at Queen’s School of Law stated the university is “lucky to have” Prof Brewer.

The News Letter has contacted Queen’s University and Prof Brewer repeatedly in recent days for comment, but we have received no response.