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Resignation letter

The fallout from the science secretary’s ‘extremism’ accusation rumbles on

When science secretary Michelle Donelan tweeted an image of a letter to UK Research and Innovation in October in which she accused some members of Research England’s expert advisory group for equality, diversity and inclusion of sharing “extremist views” about the Israel-Hamas war, she did not foresee a seven-month (and counting) slow-motion political car crash.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know that UKRI suspended the group but reinstated it in March after an investigation fully exonerated its members. Freedom of information requests by Research Professional News revealed that the UK government spent more than £23,000 on legal services related to the letter, with UKRI spending and a £15,000 settlement bringing the total cost of the incident to more than £61,000.

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