IYhk­jed kdZ[h Óh[ el[h ‘Soros net­works’ re­mark

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

THE GOVERN­MENT has been crit­i­cised for ap­point­ing an aca­demic ac­cused of mak­ing a con­tro­ver­sial state­ment about Jewish peo­ple to chair its new hous­ing com­mis­sion.

The left-wing Red Roar blog re­vealed on Tues­day that Sir Roger Scru­ton, who was an­nounced on Satur­day as the chair of the Con­ser­va­tive’s new “Build­ing Bet­ter, Build­ing Beau­ti­ful” com­mis­sion, had said in a speech at a Hun­gar­ian con­fer­ence in 2014: “Many of the Bu­dapest in­tel­li­gentsia are Jewish, and form part of the ex­ten­sive net­works around the Soros Em­pire.”

Hun­gary’s Prime Min­is­ter, Vik­tor Or­bán, has in­fa­mously based po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns on the sup­posed threat posed to the coun­try by Mr Soros, a Hun­gar­ian-Jewish bil­lion­aire and Holo­caust sur­vivor.

Mr Or­bán has ac­cused Mr Soros of fund­ing those who “sup­port ev­ery­thing that weak­ens the na­tion-state” and lam­basted him for “the Euro­pean hu­man rights ac­tivism that en­cour­ages the refugees” to reach Europe.

Sir Roger also said in the same speech: “As the world knows, in­dige­nous an­tisemitism still plays a part in Hun­gar­ian so­ci­ety and pol­i­tics, and presents an ob­sta­cle to the emer­gence of a shared na­tional loy­alty among eth­nic Hun­gar­i­ans and Jews.”

How­ever, Jewish Labour MP Lu­ciana Berger tweeted: “An in­di­vid­ual who ped­dles an­tisemitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries has no place ad­vis­ing govern­ment about any­thing.”

She urged the govern­ment to “ur­gently re­con­sider his ap­point­ment”.

Labour MP Wes Street­ing said Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary James Bro­ken­shire should “re­move [Sir Roger] im­me­di­ately”.

A spokesman for the Min­istry of Hous­ing, Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment, said: “Pro­fes­sor Sir Roger Scru­ton, as a long-stand­ing pub­lic in­tel­lec­tual, has strong views on a num­ber of is­sues. He re­ceived a knight­hood in 2016 and ad­vised the Coali­tion govern­ment on de­sign. His com­mit­ment to driv­ing qual­ity in the built en­vi­ron­ment is well known and he has pub­lished ex­ten­sively on ar­chi­tec­ture and place, which makes him an ex­cel­lent can­di­date for the un­paid chair­man­ship of the Build­ing Bet­ter, Build­ing Beau­ti­ful com­mis­sion.”

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Friend of Hun­gar­ian PM Or­ban: Scru­ton

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