Ann Widdecombe weighs in on cancellation of Oxford Professor's book on colonialism

28 January 2023, 16:37 | Updated: 28 January 2023, 16:40

The good and bad of the British Empire

By Grace Parsons

Former Tory Minister Ann Widdecombe weighs in on Bloomsbury's cancellation of Nigel Biggar's book on Empire.

Author Nigel Biggar has called out Bloomsbury publishers over the cancellation of his new book on colonialism, which concluded that the British Empire was not all bad.

Bloomsbury instead decided to pay off Professor Nigel Biggar, an Oxford academic, rather than publish his book despite initially describing it as a work of “major importance”.

Ann Widdecombe told Sangita Myska: "There were bad aspects of empire, there were good aspects of empire. It isn't right simply to teach the one without the other, you need to explore it all."

"Nobody is going to say that empire was undilutedly wonderful, because patently obviously it wasn't. You do have to get a balance and if somebody wants to argue that balance then under free speech alone they should be allowed to," the former Tory Minister went on to say.

Miss Widdecombe stated: "What bothers me about this is, this is Bloomsbury. Now we all know they published Harry Potter, we also know that JK Rowling has displeased a very large section of woke opinion, but publishers are backing JK Rowling.

"Now are we saying that you will back the big people who bring in the money, but you won't back the left lucrative people because you don't have that incentive there, that's wrong. Free speech is free speech."

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