Over 150 lecturers threatened to stop teaching Oriel College students at the prestigious university who wish to remove a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes. The Labour leader demanded the teachers "get on with their jobs" after they refused to teach students.
Sir Keir told LBC News: "Get on with the job of teaching people.
"Let's get our feet back firmly on the ground and teach the students.
"Students have been through hell in the last 18 months you know - cooped up in flats, six at a time, quite often all of them have got Covid because they've given it to one another.
"They have been amongst the hardest hit in the last 18 months."© Getty Images Sir Keir Starmer weighs in on Rhodes boycott © Getty Images Cecil Rhodes statue
The Oxford uni college has rejected calls to remove the statue of Rhodes.
Removing the statue from the Grade-II listed building is likely to be expensive because of legal battles involved in getting permission, the college's Governing Body has said.
An independent commission on the statue's legacy supported its removal along with a plaque honouring Rhodes on King Edward Street.
In a May statement the college said: "In light of the considerable obstacles to removal, Oriel's Governing Body has decided not to begin the legal process for relocation of the memorials."
© Getty Images Keir Starmer urges dons to get on with their jobs
It added that instead of removing the statue it will spend more money on improving the "day to day experience" of ethnic minority students.
Critics of the monument claim its existence causes offence to ethnic minorities, as Rhodes made his fortune by restricting the rights of minorities in the 19th Century.
Oriel College, who inherited a sum of money from Rhodes upon his death in 1902, suggested the academics had abandoned their "duty of care" to students.
The Government has warned the university that the college's 300 students could be entitled to compensation if it does not take "appropriate action" to end the teachers' rebellion.© Getty Images Protesters angered by Cecil Rhodes statue © Getty Images Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer
Sir Keir's predecessor Jeremy Corbyn has also condemned the statue, telling the student newspaper Cherwell: "Cecil Rhodes was racist."
He added: "He subjugated and killed large numbers of people in what became Rhodesia and eventually Zimbabwe and Zambia, and made a great deal of money out of diamond mining and others in South Africa.
"I don't see a need to venerate his life at all."
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/keir-starmer-wades-in-on-oxford-academics-cecil-rhodes-row-e2-80-98get-on-with-your-jobs/ar-AAL2R8C897