Theresa May under fresh pressure to sack Government adviser over 'despicable' race comments
Theresa May is facing fresh calls to sack a government adviser after he made another string of controversial remarks about race.
Labour has urged the Prime Minister to finally dump Roger Scruton for using “the language of white supremacists” in an interview.
It comes after Ministers rebuffed calls to cancel his appointment as a housing adviser last November, when he was accused of having made anti-semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic remarks in the past.
Speaking to The New Statesman, Mr Scruton doubled down on his claim of a “Soros empire in Hungary”, and maintained that Islamophobia is a “propaganda word invented by the Muslim Brotherhood”.
“Anybody who doesn’t think that there’s a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts,” he told the magazine, in reference to the Jewish philanthropist George Soros, who is frequently targeted by conspiracy theorists.
He said he was “astonished” that some MPs had called for him to be removed from his post, in light of the remarks..
The philosopher also mounted a fresh defence of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban against claims of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia
“The Hungarians were extremely alarmed by the sudden invasion of huge tribes of Muslims from the Middle East,” he argued.
Discussing the rise of China as a superpower, he added: “They’re creating robots out of their own people… each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.”
Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler said a failure to dump the adviser would show the PM “turning a blind eye to the deep-rooted prejudices and racist views in the Conservative party”.
“These comments by Roger Scruton are despicable and invoke the language of white supremacists,” she said.
"His claim that Islamophobia does not exist, a few weeks after the devastating attack in Christchurch, is extremely dangerous, and his defence of the prejudice stoked by Viktor Orban’s government in Hungary is appalling.
“Theresa May must sack Roger Scruton immediately. If she doesn't, it will be further evidence that she is turning a blind eye to the deep-rooted prejudices and racist views in the Conservative party, and will again signal that her government endorses these disgusting views.”
A Labour spokesman said of the comments this afternoon: "It's not the first time he’s said things like this. They’re completely unacceptable and nobody in a public position who makes those kind of remarks should be in that position.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Mr Scruton's comments would be "looked at" and added: "He is an adviser on housing, so it doesn’t sound as though in those comments he is speaking for the Government."