The row over public attitudes to military personnel deepened after students at one of Britain's top universities voted to ban all service groups, including cadets, from events such as setting up a stall at the annual freshers' fair.
The students' union at University College London passed a motion, put forward by Sham Rajyaguru, head of UCL's Stop The War Society, condemning Britain's "aggressive war overseas". It stated that any efforts to encourage recruitment at its events would "give political and material support to the war".
The ban, passed by 80 votes to 50, applies to the Officer Training Corps, the University Royal Navy Units, the University of London Air Squadron and "all other military organisations".
As well as the freshers' fair, where new students are encouraged to join interest groups, the ban will apply to all union premises and student-run media.
It will fuel debate over the treatment of the military after it emerged that service personnel at an RAF base in Cambridgeshire were told to wear civilian dress when in public after suffering verbal abuse from oppenents of the Iraq war.
A UCL Union spokesman said the vote, which follows bans at two other University of London colleges, could be reversed after concerns were raised that procedures were not followed correctly.