Controversy leads to questions over appointment of housing tsar

12 November 2018

Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has asked the government an urgent question about their appointment of Roger Scruton as housing tsar.

Scruton was appointed last week by James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, as the chair of the new ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’. The commission sets out to tackle poor quality design in the housing industry.

Scruton's appointment has been criticised following claims that he has made Islamophobic, homophobic and anti-Semitic statements in the past.

Scruton rebutted the accusation with a statement on 6 November, saying "nothing could be further from the truth", and saying that he was "offended and hurt" by the accusations. 

Responding to the question, Housing Minister James Brokenshire told the House, "With his experience and commitment to this important agenda, Sir Roger is the right person to chair the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission".

Gwynne responded by saying, "If we are going to have a society that welcomes free speech, we should also hold those people to account for what they use this privilege to say".

MPs were divided on whether Scruton should keep the role.

Image credit: Elekes Andor

Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber. Please fill in our quick feedback survey to help us improve our news content. 

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Housing and planning, Housing, Committee news

Share this page