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BBC Scotland's Leslie Anderson reports
"Students can ask for his resignation, but they cannot actually sack him"
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Friday, 13 October, 2000, 15:00 GMT
Students want Kemp kicked out
Ross Kemp
Students passed a vote of no confidence
Television star Ross Kemp has been asked to resign as rector of Glasgow University after a student group passed a no confidence vote.

The former Eastenders actor has been urged to quit the post after failing to attend an event for new students - for the second year running.

Mr Kemp, who is currently starring in ITV's Without Motive, was elected last year as the Labour candidate for the post.

He took over from Scottish actor Richard Wilson, of One Foot in the Grave fame, last May.

Glasgow University
Mr Kemp was elected to serve until 2002
However, an emergency motion of no confidence in the actor, who played Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap until he quit the show this year, was brought before students on Thursday night.

Members of the university's Students' Representative Council passed the motion by 11 votes to three after rejecting a call for a referendum of all students.

The body is now writing to Mr Kemp asking him to stand down.

A statement from the council said: "The final decision now lies with Ross Kemp. If he does choose to resign, another election will be held."

The group wants him to quit because he missed this year's freshers' address, where he was due to welcome the new intake of students.

It was the second year in a row he had missed one of the most important dates in the calendar for the rector.

He is an actor and the students knew this when they elected him

Noreen Jennings, rector's secretary
However, the president of the university's student union, Laura Jane Fleming, has backed the actor.

"I believe his reason for not attending freshers' week this year," she said.

"He honesty did get caught up in traffic and miss his flight."

A spokesman for Mr Kemp declined to comment.

But Noreen Jennings, the rector's secretary at the university, said she was "shocked" by the decision.

"I am very disappointed that this has happened, but then I don't have a say in the matter," she said.

"Ross is the fourth rector that I have worked for and I am quite shocked that this action has been taken.

"He is an actor and the students knew this when they elected him."

Stuck in traffic

She said he had been on his way to the freshers' address, but became stuck in traffic and missed his flight to Glasgow.

He could not catch another flight because he had to be back in the capital.

There was also support for the rector from former student Graeme Corbett, who was part of Mr Kemp's campaign team.

"There is no popular uprising because most people are quite happy for him to be rector," he said.

The rector is the senior representative for the university's 17,000 students and is entitled to chair the University Court, the governing body for the whole university.

Mr Kemp was due to remain in office until May 2002.

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See also:

24 Mar 99 | Entertainment
EastEnders loses its Grant
10 Mar 99 | Entertainment
University challenge for EastEnders star
18 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Money for old soap
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