Welsh Secretary criticises professor for calling Tories the ‘lowest form of life’
The Welsh Secretary has criticised a professor for calling Tories the “lowest form of life”.
Simon Hart called the comments of Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones “outrageous” during a debate in the House of Commons.
Hart hit out at the Llewellyn-Jones in response to a question from Scott Benton, the Conservative MP for Blackpool South, as part of a discussion about political neutrality in positions of faith.
In his tweet Llewellyn-Jones, who is a Chair in Ancient History at Cardiff University as well as Director of the Ancient Iran Program for the British Institute of Persian Studies, said: “A Welsh Tory. The lowest form of life.”
A spokesperson for Cardiff University told Nation.Cymru that the post does not “represent” its views and that it “expects” all its members to “treat others with respect”.
The Secretary of State for Wales also criticised the Bishop of St Davids Joanna Penberthy for “ill-advised and divisive comments” after she posted “never never never trust a Tory” on Twitter.
He has previously written to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on the matter, despite him being the leader of the Church of England, not the Church in Wales.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said he is “deeply embarrassed” by the post. The Church in Wales has also apologised for offence caused by the tweet.
Scott Benton said: “I am very supportive of the actions taken by the Secretary of State involving the Bishop of St Davids, but does he agree that this issue of intolerance towards those who hold Conservative views is becoming more widespread throughout academia and public life, and that we need concerted efforts to address this?”
Simon Hart said: “As my hon. Friend knows, it appears that this sort of trolling habit is, sadly, not exclusive to the bishop; Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones has also been busy dishing out abuse, with his most recent contribution being to describe Conservative voters as the ‘lowest form of life’.
“I cannot help but ask what the professor would have done and how he would have reacted if any of our colleagues had described university academics as the lowest form of life.
“It would have been as outrageous for him as it is for us, and I very much hope that Cardiff University will follow the example of the Archbishop of Canterbury and deal with this promptly.”
On the post by Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones a Cardiff University spokesperson told Nation.Cymru: “The views expressed in no way represent the views of the University.
“We understand that these are historic and personal comments, expressed on a personal account.
“However, whilst they are personal comments the University expects all members of the University community to treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times.”