David Starkey has drawn criticism from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for arguing that slavery could not be considered genocide because there are “so many damn blacks” in Africa and Britain.
The historian, who was made a CBE in 2007 and is known for historical bestsellers such as Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII and Henry: Virtuous Prince, made the remark while appearing on Reasoned, an online show hosted by the BeLeave founder Darren Grimes.
“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,” he told the programme.
The remarks drew furious backlash from online users, including from the former chancellor Sajid Javid, who tweeted that Starkey’s views may serve as “a reminder of the appalling views that still exist.”
Joining a chorus of criticism, Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: ‘To suggest a genocide did not take place because some of those who were persecuted survived is dangerous, damaging and completely reprehensible.
“His words are abhorrent, and as an historian with a considerable platform and following, David Starkey’s irresponsible and racist views should be widely condemned.”
David Starkey’s representatives were contacted for comment.