TWO University of Glasgow students have been cleared of accusations they subjected women debaters to sexist abuse.

The men were told after a closed-doors hearing by the university Senate that there was no case to answer.

Former student president Chris Sibbald and politics student Paddy Baxter denied allegations of sexist heckling at the Glasgow University Union's annual Glasgow Ancients debating contest in March.

But the two woman debaters at the centre of the row have lodged a new complaint, about the hearing itself, with the University.

Cambridge politics student Rebecca Meredith, from Kilmacolm, Inverclyde, and Edinburgh law undergraduate Marlena Valles, said the decision was unfair.

The university refused to discuss the Senate hearing's confidential conclusion. A separate inquiry into the culture of the Glasgow University Union, one of the oldest in the UK, is now to take place.

David McKie, a former president of the GUU, said: "This episode was potentially very damaging to the reputation of the union which is regarded as the leading debating union in the world.

"I hope the verdicts will repair any damage caused."

But the Cambridge Union Society said a boycott of debates at Glasgow will continue, and the decision raised serious concerns about the fairness of the hearing.

The fresh complaint from Ms Meredith and Ms Valles to the Senate Office and Principal Anton Muscatelli says the "quasi-judicial proceedings were conducted in a manner which was unfair and led to an incorrect verdict".

The hearing centred on their allegations that they were met with boos and calls of "shame" as they spoke about how religion affected women's rights.

The women claimed at the time the interruptions were "misogynistic" and that they were also met with comments about their appearance and choice of clothes. Ms Valles claimed one man said: "Get that woman out of my chamber."

The complaint would have been presented to the court by a senate assessor on behalf of the women. He would have operated in a similar way to a procurator-fiscal in a criminal court, presenting the prosecution case on behalf of a victim.

Ms Meredith and Ms Valles said they did not have legal representation at the hearing, unlike the men. Ms Meredith was unable to attend because of final-year exams and key witnesses were unavailable.

The pair said: "One side had top QCs, hired by the defendants, while we had no legal representation at all. Under such unbalanced circumstances, it is unsurprising an incorrect verdict has been reached.

"The university did not try to reschedule the hearing for a time when witnesses could attend."

They said witnesses were originally told they could submit anonymous statements, but the university revoked that.

They said this meant that statements about sexist behaviour were thrown out without witnesses being able to re-submit them with names attached.

Joe Fenster, president of the Cambridge Union Society, urged other university unions to join their boycott.

He said: "We continue to support the efforts of Rebecca Meredith and Marlena Valles to achieve redress for their appallingly sexist treatment at the Glasgow Union, as well as their formal complaints regarding this judicial process.

A University of Glasgow spokesman said: "Procedures under the University Code of Student Conduct are confidential and as such we are unable to disclose the outcome of any hearing."