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Plans to erect statues of Donald Trump, Jordan Peterson and other prominent “anti-woke” advocates on UK universities have received a mixed reaction from academia.

In a move designed to head off criticism from science secretary Michelle Donelan that the “slow creep of wokeism” poses a threat to British research, university leaders have commissioned a series of striking campus monuments to honour right-wing figures known for their plain speaking and trenchant opposition to political correctness.

“We’ve told the public about our commitment to free speech and viewpoint diversity countless times, but the message isn’t getting through – we need to do something different,” said one exasperated vice-chancellor on his university’s planned bronze of Nigel Farage, the Brexit-supporting former UKIP leader.

“When we’re next accused of being a hotbed of radical socialism, I’ll be able to point to our statue of Nigel with a cigar in his hand and sipping a pint, and have the last laugh.”

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