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University of Leeds asked to put cost-cutting plans on hold

The University of Leeds has been asked to put its cost-cutting plans on hold while Lord Peter Mandelson investigates allegations it broke key rules on its own regulation.

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A member of staff sent a Petition to the Visitor of the university – Lord Mandelson – responsible for ensuring it operates in accordance with its charter and statutes.

The challenge claimed the university had bypassed the body responsible for its academic mission, the senate, when it started restructuring the Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS).

And it called for action related to cost-cutting plans in other departments to be put on hold while the Visitor investigated.

The news of Lord Mandelson's intervention came just 24 hours after University and College Union (UCU) members at the university announced plans for a series of one-day strikes.

UCU believes up to 700 jobs could be lost as the university seeks to make 35m of savings.

A University spokesperson said: "We believe that the UCU's appeal to the Visitor is wholly misconceived and we will resist the Petition vigorously."

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