A LEADING British expert on equality is to follow leading politicians by speaking to a student group in York next year.

Renowned broadcaster and writer Trevor Phillips OBE, a one time head of Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission and outspoken critic of multiculturalism, will be at a York Union event in February, for a debate organised by the student-run society.

The public event will see him go head to head with commentator David Goodhart, director of the think tank Demos; Bristol-based academic Prof Tariq Modood and Guardian columnist Zoe Williams; on whether multiculturalism has "failed" Britain.

This year, the Union has already hosted well-known politicians and commentators.

The group's Lisa Rumbold and Harry Scoffin said: “It has been a fun and rewarding autumn term for the York Union, with big names hosted including Alan Johnson, Len McCluskey and Ivan Massow.

"Our favourite event, for the entertainment value alone, was the “Labour, Welcome to the Wilderness Years” panel debate featuring Peter Oborne, Alison McGovern MP, Michael White, Afshin Rattansi and Joana Ramiro."

The group's events hit the national headlines in November when Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, told students at his event that Jeremy Corbyn needed to get used to leadership and stop making "inappropriate" comments.

York Union's spring term programme is now "shaping up nicely", organisers added, with the multiculturalism event on Thursday, February 11 and Oxford University social geographer Danny Dorling due to speak on "Inequality and the 1 percent" on Monday, January 11.

The group is also working on a debate on campus free speech - which they say promises to be a controversial topic in the light of strong No Platform policies at many student unions.

They added: "We are trying to help York strengthen its reputation as a city in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

"We have worked hard over the last three years to prove that there is no reason why we cannot attract the same calibre of guest as Oxford and Cambridge. With the likes of Jon Snow, Adam Boulton, Alistair Campbell, Jonathan Powell, Baroness Scotland, Dominic Grieve, Shami Chakrabarti, Lord Robert Winston, and many more coming to York, we are proving that the York Union is building a reputation to rival the elite debating circles.”

For more information or to book tickets to upcoming events online visit www.yorkunion.co.uk