Theresa insists on resignation of tsar Roger Scruton on & # 39; Islamophobic and anti-Semitic remarks & # 39;

Theresa May is under pressure to dismiss her newly appointed home Tsar about claims that he has made Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks in a series of articles and books.

Professor Sir Roger Scruton, a controversial philosopher, was chosen to advise the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government at the weekend, as chairman of a new public body to defend beautiful buildings.

Labor MPs now urge ministers to dismiss the conservative academic, after it became clear that he described homosexuality as "not normal" and said that Islamophobia was a "propaganda word".

Sir Roger was also confronted with allegations of the spread of anti-Semitic conspiracies about the Hungarian-American philantropist George Soros in a 2014 lecture, where he said: "many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish and are part of the extensive networks around the Soros -rich".

However, the government issued a statement in support of the professor, who denied the allegations and said that he was "insulted and hurt" by accusations of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

The comments were marked by a BuzzFeed News research, including an article from 2007 for The Telegraph, in which he wrote: "But occasionally we become aware that although homosexuality is normalized, it is not normal.

"Our acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, of same-sex couples, and of the gay scene has not taken away our feeling that these are alternatives to something, and that it is something else that is normal."

On BBC Radio 4 & # 39; s A point of view in 2015 he said: "The orthodox liberal view is that homosexuality is innate and innocent.

"Like the Islamists, the proponents of this view have invented a phobia to denounce their opponents.

"Get rid of the smallest thing in orthodoxy, and you will be accused of homophobia, and although this is not yet a crime, it goes hand in hand, especially for those with a public office, with real social costs."

It also turned out that he described Islamophobia in his 2017 book as a propaganda word & # 39; Conservatism: ideas in profile.

He said: "There has been a deliberate silence of the discussion in official circles, a refusal to describe things with their own names and the adoption of the propaganda word" Islamophobia "in a completely imaginary way. to create enemy & # 39 ;.

Labor MP Luciana Berger, President of the Jewish Labor Party, called for Sir Roger to be expelled for his comments on George Soros.

She said: "A person who deals with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories has no place to advise the government about anything.

"Theresa, please, intervene. [Housing secretary] James Brokenshire should urgently reconsider his appointment. "

Labor MP Wes Streeting said: "With each passing hour it becomes clear that Roger Scruton has a history of making offensive remarks.

"It is a specter that he has gone through a research procedure.

"This is a shocking misjudgment by the minister and the prime minister must immediately dismiss him and ask James Brokenshire how this appointment was ever made."

And Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse said: "Someone with these views can not advise the government about anything, and it is very worrying that the conservatives have associated themselves with these kinds of offensive visions.

"Roger Scruton should never have worked and the Prime Minister should ask him to resign."

A spokesperson for MHCLG defended the decision to appoint Sir Roger to the post.

The spokesperson said: "Professor Sir Roger Scruton, as a long-standing public intellectual, has a strong opinion on a number of issues.

"He received a knighthood in 2016 and advised the coalition government on design.

"His dedication to driving quality in the built environment is well known and he has published a lot about architecture and location, making him an excellent candidate for the unpaid presidency of the Building Better Commission, Building Beautiful."

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In a statement issued on Twitter, Sir Roger said he was "offended" by the allegations against him.

"Nothing is less true and I want to refute these false claims," ​​he said.

"If people actually read my comments about the interplay between George Soros and Hungary, they will realize that they are in no way anti-Semitic, indeed the exact opposite."

He added: "Only two years ago I supported George Soros by protesting against Prime Minister Orban's regime to keep the Central European University open, so that intellectual freedom in Hungary could continue to flourish.

"My statements about Islamic states only point to the failure of these states, which is a fact My beliefs about Islam are known and can be found in my book West and peace. "

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