The National Union of Students is calling for a boycott of the government's counter-radicalisation strategy to monitor students and has launched a national tour in five cities to oppose it.

The Students not Suspects tour – which will take in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Swansea – is backed by the University and College Union (UCU), the largest trade union for lecturers and academics in further and higher education.

The UCU has expressed concern over what it described as the "chilling effect" that Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has had on academic freedom and debate, as well as its "vague and not achievable" legal duty on institutions and staff. It has issued guidance to members, saying it will support boycotts of the legislation.

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