Hackney student faces grilling over Tory HQ education riots

Hackney Community College to throw the book at any students caught up in criminal activity.

A STUDENT at Hackney Community College is facing disciplinary action after being photographed hurling a chair through a window during education riots at Tory HQ.

Lewis O’Callaghan, 17, of Leytonstone, is also believed to be one of 57 people arrested for a range of offences following rioting outside Millbank Tower in central London on Wednesday November 10.

Thousands of students and lecturers converged on the capital last week to protest against a rise in tuition fees and cuts to education budgets.

O’Callaghan, who lives with his university professor father and government researcher mother said he expected to be arrested after he was pictured apparently rioting.

In an interview with a national newspaper O’Callaghan said: “It does look like I will be arrested for that.”

“I ended up smashing a window because I was trapped in a room with eight police officers who were smashing the s*** out of people,” he added.

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College chiefs took a dim view of the rioting and pledged to discipline anyone found guilty of criminal offences.

Ian Ashman, principal of Hackney Community College, said: “We have learned that one of our students was involved in an incident at Millbank Tower during this week’s demonstration about education cuts and student fees.

“In line with the NUS and UCU, we support the right of peaceful protest but deplore the violence that distracted attention from the important issues.

“It is our policy that we take appropriate disciplinary action regarding any student proven to be involved in criminal activity, and we will be taking this case seriously.

“The College is itself deeply concerned about the potential of funding cuts to narrow its course offer to our local communities.

“We are particularly worried about the impact of the cut to Education Maintenance Allowances for 16-18s, free places on level 2 and 3 courses for over 25’s and to ESOL speakers.

“This will have a pronounced adverse impact on local participation in education.

“We are making representations on these points to Government through the Association of Colleges and our local MPs.”