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Neil Mitchell critical of decision to hand ‘free speech’ gong to former ABC presenter

Neil Mitchell has clashed with the president of Liberty Victoria after it handed Yassmin Abdel-Magied the Young Voltaire award – given to somebody who has “done the most for the right of free speech” in the past year.

The 3AW Mornings host questioned whether Ms Abdel-Magied was really an advocate of free speech and said it was a “quite obviously a politically correct” decision.

Speaking on 3AW Mornings, Jessie Taylor told Neil Mitchell that Ms Abdel-Magied was an “extraordinary” young woman who consistently “spoke up” for the members of her “various intersectional communities” as a “young black Muslim woman”.

“Some of the stuff coming to our social media following the announcement of this award … I honestly understand why she left the country,” Ms Taylor said.

“It’s been toxic.”

However, Neil Mitchell questioned whether she was really a “champion” of free speech, given she admitted to walking out on speech made by Lionel Shriver because she didn’t agree with it.

“Surely somebody that defends free speech understands that it goes both ways? Neil Mitchell asked.

“You’ve got somebody presenting an alternative point view and this “champion of free speech” walks out on her.

“She didn’t have the decency to sit there and listen to an alternative point of view.”

Click PLAY below to hear their debate on 3AW Mornings

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