'Jewish gene' banker's LSE talk cancelled

A lecture by a German banker who has referred to a “Jewish gene” due to be held at the London School of Economics last night was cancelled at the last minute due to security concerns.

Thilo Sarrazin was due to speak in a debate organised by the university’s German Society last night.
The university stepped in to stop the event taking place on campus after anti-fascist campaigners threatened to demonstrate against the speaker.

Mr Sarrazin, 65, was forced to step down from Deutsche Bundesbank after he said: “All Jews share a particular gene” in his book Germany Does Away with Itself last year.

The event was later held at a nearby hotel.

An LSE spokesman said: “We received information at a late stage that the event was likely to suffer severe disruption, beyond peaceful protest outside the venue.

“Reluctantly, LSE decided that it could no longer ensure that the event tonight would be able to proceed in an orderly fashion and that free speech could be ensured for all participants.

“In addition, the LSE Students' Union advised yesterday that the event could seriously harm good campus relations if allowed to proceed (contrary to their previous position).

“Because of this combination of factors, the School's senior management decided the event could not take place. LSE remains committed to the principle of free speech within the law.”

Last updated: 1:42pm, February 15 2011