Islamophobe joins team Boris

Anthony Browne (2)Boris Johnson has appointed the director of a leading Tory think tank as his director of policy at City Hall. Anthony Browne of Policy Exchange will play a senior political role. The former journalist has headed the think tank since last May and will be responsible for developing new policy ideas for the Mayor.

Mr Johnson said of the appointment: “I am delighted that Anthony is joining my team at City Hall. As a policy expert in the fields of environment, health and politics for the influential Policy Exchange and a former journalist on the Times and Observer, I am sure Anthony will be a valuable asset in helping to shape London’s future over the next four years.”

However, Mr Browne’s appointment is certain to cause a degree of concern among his political opponents as he is known for his strong Right-wing stance on immigration.

He first came to prominence when he was denounced by then home secretary David Blunkett for “bordering on fascism” after a series of articles on immigration.

Mr Browne has also been criticised for “demonising” Muslims in an article headlined “the Muslims are coming – there’s no plot: Islam really does want to conquer the world” in The Spectator.

Former Mayor Ken Livingstone said: “Anthony Browne’s extensive Rightwing track record and his divisive attacks on immigration, are an indication that Boris Johnson’s administration is deeply at odds with the needs of a multicultural city like London.”

Evening Standard, 22 July 2008

For more on Browne see here.

Update:  Over at the hardline right-wing New English Review blog, one Mary Jackson welcomes the appointment of Browne in a post headed “Boris employs good egg“. In connection with Browne’s “The Muslims are coming” article published in the Spectator in 2004, with its “Islam really does want to conquer the world” standfirst, she observes: “Good title – it sounds like Boris used to before he stopped putting his foot in it.” Which is hardly surprising, given that Johnson was editor of the Spectatorat the time that Browne’s paranoid piece of anti-Muslim scaremongering was published.