13 August 2011 3:48 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Historian provokes storm of criticism after remarks during a televised discussion about the riots on BBC2's Newsnight

The historian and broadcaster David Starkey has provoked a storm of criticism after claiming during a televised discussion about the riots that "the problem is that the whites have become black".

In an appearance on BBC2's Newsnight, Starkey spoke of "a profound cultural change" and said he had been re-reading Enoch Powell's rivers of blood speech.

"His prophesy was absolutely right in one sense. The Tiber did not foam with blood but flames lambent, they wrapped around Tottenham and wrapped around Clapham," he said.

"But it wasn't inter-community violence. This is where he was absolutely wrong." Gesturing towards one of the other guests, Owen Jones, who wrote Chavs: the Demonisation of the Working Classes, Starkey said: "What has happened is that a substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black. »

- Ben Quinn

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