Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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David Starkey is a very controversial character – the Johnny Rotten of academia says Tim Farron

by Steve Beasant on 21 August, 2011

Following his recent remarks on BBC’s Newsnight, the historian David Starkey has defended his views on the England riots and protested that the subject of race has become “unmentionable”.

The BBC reported:

Dr Starkey was criticised for comments he made on the BBC’s Newsnight, in which he partly blamed the disorder on black “gangsta” culture.

He said the reaction to his remarks – which included that “the whites have become black” – was “hysterical”.

Following last Friday’s programme, the BBC has received 892 complaints.

It said viewers who complained felt his contribution to the programme was “inappropriate and racially offensive”.

Meanwhile, the Westmorland Gazette reported that David Starkey was born in Kendall and his remarks have left the local MP outraged.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron described the historian as

‘foolish’ and ‘the Johnny Rotten of academia’ over his claim that city centre rioters were imitating black gang culture.

Tim Farron added: “David Starkey is a very controversial character – the Johnny Rotten of academia – and I agree with little of what he says.

“Although he has a right to express his views, in the context of a very sensitive situation they were the wrong things to say.

“He is a very foolish fellow.”

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