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Transparency campaigner who forced parliamentary Brexit vote gets honorary law degree from UEL

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 November 2017

Brexit challenger Gina Miller gets honourary law doctorate from UEL. Picture: David Harrison

Brexit challenger Gina Miller gets honourary law doctorate from UEL. Picture: David Harrison

David Harrison/ mail@davidharrison.info

An ‘transparency’ activist who challenged the government over Brexit has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of East London along with a leading Tower Hamlets college educationalist.

Former Tower Hamlets college head of science Eddie Playfair gets honorary education doctorate from UEL. Picture: David HarrisonFormer Tower Hamlets college head of science Eddie Playfair gets honorary education doctorate from UEL. Picture: David Harrison

Gina Miller has been given a Doctorate of Law while Tower Hamlets college former head of science Eddie Playfair has received a Doctorate of Education at a graduation ceremony at the O2.

Gina urged graduates to speak out against dishonesty, injustice and inequality—but it “doesn’t come easy”.

She told them: “To be silent only adds to the lies and the weakness. Don’t give in to bullying or bigotry.”

The Guyana-born activist was named Britain’s “most influential black person” by the Powerlist Foundation last month for her legal challenge forcing Parliament to vote on whether the government could begin the Brexit process.

She argued that Theresa May didn’t have the executive right to trigger Article 50 to begin the withdrawal from the EU without parliamentary approval.

The subsequent vitriol directed at her following the Supreme Court ruling in her favour only made Gina more determined to continue as an advocate for tolerance.

Eddie Playfair, who headed science studies at the Poplar campus of Tower Hamlets College until 2002 and is now the Newham Sixth Form college principal, spoke of his UEL Education doctorate coming from “a great east London institution” deeply rooted in a diverse and cosmopolitan community.

He told graduating students to be proud of their culture, family, language, beliefs and educational achievements.

“But don’t stop there,” he added. “Become what you’re capable of.”

He also has an interest in politics as a Waltham Forest councillor in the 1980s and currently runs a blog on education, politics and culture and is also an active commentator on social media.

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