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David Starkey axed from Canterbury Christ Church University role after slavery comments

A famous historian has been axed from his role at a university after claiming slavery was not genocide due to the survival of "so many damn blacks".

Tudor expert David Starkey's comments during an appearance on little-known YouTube channel Reasoned, which aired on Tuesday, have sparked outrage online.

David Starkey
David Starkey

The controversy has prompted Canterbury Christ Church University to announce that it has ended the academic's honorary role at the institution.

A spokesman said: "We have terminated David Starkey’s position as visiting professor with immediate effect.

"His comments are completely unacceptable and totally go against our university and community values."

Starkey was a visiting professor at the University of Kent until the arrangement was terminated in 2015.

In light of this week's events, bosses say they will consider his honorary degree at the earliest opportunity.

The campus at Christ Church University
The campus at Christ Church University

Starkey made the offensive statement while talking to the show's host, Brexit activist Darren Grimes, about the Black Lives Matter movement and the history curriculum.

He told the host: "Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there? An awful lot of them survived.

"The honest teaching of the British Empire is to say quite simply, it is the first key stage of world globalisation.

"It's probably the most important moment in human history and its consequences are still with us.

"As for this idea that slavery is this terrible disease that it dare not speak its name - it only dare not speak its name because we settled it nearly 200 years ago."

Starkey also noted that the "only reason these young black protesters are here is because of slavery" and that "slavery was not the equivalent of the holocaust".

The interview prompted former Chancellor Sajid Javid to brand the comments racist and a "reminder of the appalling views that still exist".

Responding to criticism online, Mr Grimes attributed his failure to challenge the academic's remarks to a lack of experience.

He said: "I reject in the strongest possible terms what Dr Starkey said in that clip and so very wish I'd caught it at the time.

"I am still learning the ropes, I will be much more alert to challenging this kind of thing in future."

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