Stephan Pax Leonard responds to allegations of racism after being stripped of his Research Fellowship
He claims to have no Islamaphobic or Anti-Semitic views
Stephen Pax Leonard, the former Research Fellow of St Chad's who was stripped of his title after his offensive tweets were exposed, has hit back at the allegations, claiming to have been misrepresented.
Leonard has published a statement on his website claiming that the accusations of Islamophobia and Antisemitism and “are absurd, totally unfounded and deeply upsetting” and that his Twitter activity has been taken “out of context.”
He has tweeted: "I hold no Islamaphobic or Anti-Semitic views whatsoever" and claims “a number of academic institutions across the UK are using any mechanism possible to silence Conservatives”.
Leonard came under fire last week after tweets he posted were published in Chervell and The Durham Tab. In a series of now deleted tweets, Leonard claimed that Sadiq Kahn wanted to make London "a Mecca for muslims" and that "tens of millions of muslims support ISIS".
He also tweeted: "With so few Jews, it is extraordinary that the [Swedish] print media is largely owned and edited by Jewish families". This tweet has also been deleted.
Leonard claims that his tweets have been taken out of context by "the far Left mob" and that his posts "have been doctored". Retweeting coverage in The Times, he added: "We will not be silenced".
He further alleges that the Durham “seems to be becoming an ideological echo chamber where Conservatives and Brexiteers such as me are increasingly made to feel ‘excluded’ and unwelcome. Sceptics of the liberal, politically correct orthodoxy have told me how they felt on occasions shamed into silence.”
Margret Masson, the Principal of St Chad’s college, said: “St Chad’s College is fully committed to free speech. However, I believe that Dr Leonard’s comments — as reported — were objectionable and ill judged.”