University lecturer fears for job after formal complaints made about tweets on gender

Professor James Treadwell
Professor James Treadwell

Professor of Criminology James Treadwell at Staffordshire University was told by his employer that "formal and official" complaints had been made about his claims on Twitter

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A lecturer has claimed that he is the latest academic victim of "cancel culture" after his university started looking into his tweets for transphobia without giving him details about the allegation.

Professor of Criminology James Treadwell at Staffordshire University was told by his employer that "formal and official" complaints had been made about his claims on Twitter.

"I am being investigated for transphobia," he tweeted.

"Read my tweets. Go figure," he added, joking: "It's a good job cancel culture is just a myth though, right." The university confirmed that it had received a complaint about "the views expressed" by the professor on Twitter but refused to identify the messages when asked to by The Times.

Treadwell has taught at the university for five years.

He said he was "angry and upset" by the investigation of his online activity, which he fears could make him lose his job.

He said: "I have no details of what it is alleged. I honestly have tried to be balanced and reasonable and promote fair debate. Let me be clear again, trans people like all people deserve dignity and respect. Academics giving their personal views do too."

He has argued in favour of "protecting women's spaces" and tweeted about clashes between trans activists and feminists.

Treadwell has also used Twitter to share his thoughts on topics including Black Lives Matter and racism in football.

In 2018, after a transgender prisoner Karen White, who had been convicted of sex offences and went on to sexually assault two inmates at a women's jail, he said: "criminologists are finding the voice to say men should not be put in women's prisons".

Treadwell wrote: "It is a shame it took more victims to get that, but I'm sure the previous reluctance to speak was a result of how allegations of bigotry can be used to silence."

Staffordshire University said his case was "being reviewed in accordance with the university's procedures. As a university we are committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion to ensure we promote a positive culture where everyone is able to be themselves. We are equally committed to academic freedom and lawful freedom of speech."