Roger Scruton has been reappointed to lead the government’s beauty commission after ministers said his sacking earlier this year was ‘regrettable’
The outspoken academic was fired from his role as chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission in April in a row over comments he made in an interview with the New Statesman.
However after the magazine published a clarification of his comments on China and antisemitism, housing secretary James Brokenshire apologised for the way he had been sacked.
Brokenshire then wrote to Scruton, inviting him to return to co-chair the commission with Nicholas Boys Smith, who recently presented the findings of the commission’s interim report.
According to the Spectator, Brokenshire wrote: ‘I know that you still have so much more to give and hope this may also help to put things right after the regrettable events of recent months’.
Accepting the role, Scruton responded: ‘I am so pleased that all has been resolved in a friendly way and we can return to the matter in hand, which is so important.’
In the interview with the New Statesman, Scruton was reported as saying that China was ‘creating robots of their own people’.
But the magazine later clarified that he was referring to the country’s Communist Party regime, rather than Chinese people.
Scruton also referred to a ‘Soros empire’ in Hungary – a reference to Jewish billionaire George Soros. However the rest of his comment that ‘it’s not necessarily an empire of Jews; that’s such nonsense’ was omitted.
In the interview, he also repeated his previous comment that Islamophobia was a propaganda word ‘invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to stop discussion of a major issue’.
It was not the first time the government faced criticism over the appointment.
Labour MPs had previously called for his removal over his ‘Soros empire’ comments and his views on gay adoption. In a 2007 Telegraph article he described gay adoption as ‘not normal’.
Scruton also claimed in a public speech in 2005 that there was no such crime as date rape and described sexual harassment as merely ‘sexual advances made by the unattractive’.
A spokesperson for Roger Scruton confirmed he was returning to the commission as co-chair.