This guy is an embarrassment. How can any person not be tainted by working with him.
Theresa May is facing pressure to sack her newly appointed housing tsar over claims he made Islamophobic, antisemitic and homophobic comments in a series of articles and books.
Professor Sir Roger Scruton, a controversial philosopher, was chosen to advise the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government at the weekend, as chairman of a new public body to champion beautiful buildings.
Labour MPs are now urging ministers to sack the conservative academic after it emerged he had described homosexuality as “not normal” and said Islamophobia was a “propaganda word”.
Sir Roger also faced accusations of propagating antisemitic conspiracies about Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros in a 2014 lecture, where he said “many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros empire”.
However, the government issued a statement in support of the professor, who denied the claims and said he was “offended and hurt” by allegations of Islamophobia and antisemitism.
The comments were highlighted by a BuzzFeed News investigation, which included a 2007 article for The Telegraph, in which he wrote: “Every now and then, however, we wake up to the fact that, although homosexuality has been normalised, it is not normal.
“Our acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, of same-sex couples, and of the gay scene has not eliminated our sense that these are alternatives to something, and that it is the other thing that is normal.”
On BBC Radio 4’s A Point of View in 2015 he said: “The orthodox liberal view is that homosexuality is innate and guiltless.“Like the Islamists, the advocates of this view have invented a phobia with which to denounce their opponents.
“Deviate in the smallest matter from the orthodoxy, and you will be accused of homophobia and, although this is not yet a crime, it is accompanied, especially for those with any kind of public office, by real social costs.”It also emerged that he described Islamophobia as a “propaganda word” in his 2017 book Conservatism: Ideas in Profile.
He said: “There has been in official circles a deliberate silencing of discussion, a refusal to describe things by their proper names, and the adoption of the propaganda word ‘Islamophobia’ to create a wholly imaginary enemy”.
Labour MP Luciana Berger, parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, called for Sir Roger to be removed from the post for his comments about George Soros.
She said: ”An individual who peddles antisemitic conspiracy theories has no place advising government about anything.
“Theresa May, please intervene. [Housing secretary] James Brokenshire should urgently reconsider his appointment.”