Celebrity historian Dr David Starkey's career lay in ruins yesterday, set to lose all his academic titles and book deals after making comments about slavery in which he referred to "damn blacks".
Dr Starkey, who rose to prominence in the early 2000s for his writing and documentaries on Tudor politics, argued in an interview slavery could not be considered genocide because "otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain".
Yesterday he lost his academic positions at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and Canterbury Christ Church University, while his role as a visiting fellow at the University of Buckingham is under review. Lancaster and Kent universities are reviewing his honorary graduate status.
The news came as Dr Starkey's publisher, HarperCollins, which was expected to publish two more of his history books, said it was cancelling their release. Hodder and Stoughton, which has published the historian, said it would never work with him again. The Mary Rose Trust, a charity that runs a museum in Portsmouth, accepted Dr Starkey's resignation from its board.
"He's been saying this stuff for years," said Dr Louise Raw, another historian. "It's only because of the work of #BlackLivesMatter that it's being taken more seriously."
"It's just not acceptable, what he said," said Anthony Seldn, Dr Starkey's employer at the University of Buckingham. "With freedom of speech goes responsibility. It's not an absolute right, and you cannot thoughtlessly provoke and incite and inflame, particularly at such a sensitive time."
Daily Telegraph, London