York Uni pays four-figure sum to law student who claimed anti-Semitism was rife at UK universities

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By Katie King on

Boris Johnson’s brother helped him get the money


A York law student who claimed he suffered anti-Semitic trolling while studying at the Russell Group university has been offered a formal apology and a four-figure payout.

21-year-old Zachary Confino spoke out in April about the abuse and name-calling he’d been subjected to from anonymous trolls. He recalled being told “Hitler was onto something”, while another called the third year a “Stupid Israeli Twat”.

The abuse, he alleged, was not confined to social media. The former treasurer of the Students’ Union also said he was confronted by three members of the Palestine Solidarity Society while he was leafleting against a play called ‘Seven Jewish Children’.

The aspiring lawyer — who has completed work placements at national law firm Bond Dickinson and Thomas More Chambers — said the experience has been “so depressing” and “ruined” his time at university.

It has also been reported Confino, who made it onto Legal Cheek’s esteemed list of the country’s top 20 most influential law students, suffered stress and just missed out on securing a first class degree following his two-year struggle against anti-Jewish abuse.

He blames the university. At the time he went public with his allegations, the wannabe commercial litigation solicitor said the uni and the SU had failed to support him and other Jewish students, and the meetings he had with both institutions didn’t help him.

Though both York University and the SU issued statements at the time, both broadly denying Confino’s claims they adopted a blasé attitude towards his accusations, the SU has now offered the disgruntled third year a £1,000 payout and a formal apology, which will be published online.

It is understood the settlement was agreed after Jo Johnson — Boris’s brother and the universities minister — stepped in.

The payment is the first of its kind made by a UK university.