Scruton returns to Building Beautiful Commission as co-chair

Sir Roger Scruton has returned to the government's Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission as co-chair, after the housing secretary issued an apology to the philosopher for sacking him earlier this year.

Sir Roger Scruton (pic: Getty)
Sir Roger Scruton (pic: Getty)

Scruton was dismissed as a government advisor in April after a backlash against comments attributed to him in an interview with the New Statesman

At the time, a spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) said Scruton’s reported comments on subjects including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia were "unacceptable".

The New Statesman has since published a statement to clarify the context of some of Scruton’s remarks and conceded that "the views of professor Scruton were not accurately represented" on the magazine’s social media channels.

Writing to Scruton last week, Brokenshire said he regretted his decision to sack him from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, which aims to improve the design quality of new development.

"I am sorry," he wrote, "especially as it was based on a clearly partial report of your thoughts."

"If you would be willing, I would like to invite you to meet to discuss this work and what part you might be prepared to play in advancing this important agenda which we both care about so much," the minister said. 

Now, MHCLG has confirmed that Scruton will return as co-chair of the body, sitting alongside Nicholas Boys Smith, who was appointed interim chair following Scruton's departure.  

The commission issued its interim report earlier this month. It intends to submit a final report to the government before the end of the year.

A Planning article exploring the implications of the commission's interim report can be found here.

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