George Eaton (journalist)
George Eaton (born 27 November 1986) is a British writer and journalist. He is an assistant editor of the New Statesman, a position he has held since May 2019. He was previously political editor and then joint deputy editor from December 2018 before his demotion the following year.
Eaton was educated at Berkhamsted School and studied History and Politics at the University of Warwick between 2005 and 2008, and has previously worked for PoliticsHome. He was brought in to the New Statesman by Jason Cowley as a staff writer and later edited the magazine's political blog The Staggers. Eaton has featured in debating panels on various news stations such as BBC News, Sky News and RT, discussing issues including health tourism and Scottish independence. In February 2015, he sat on a panel hosted by the PR company Fishburn at the Royal Society of Arts on the 2015 UK general election.
In the 12-17 April 2019 edition of The New Statesman, Eaton published an article based on an interview he had had with conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, in which he claimed Scruton had made a number of racist remarks. He quoted Scruton as describing the "invasion of huge tribes of Muslims from the Middle East", and how "each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one". The article led to Scruton being removed as a government adviser. Figures such as Brendan O'Neill, Kenan Malik, Jonathan Rutherford, Douglas Murray, Niall Ferguson, Toby Young and Maajid Nawaz criticised Eaton, claiming he had mischaracterised Scruton's comments. Eaton claimed this accusation was "baseless and untrue", and added further clarification of Scruton's comments in a subsequent article. Eaton received particular criticism for posting a photograph to his public Instagram account showing him drinking from a bottle of champagne with the caption, "The feeling when you get right-wing racist and homophobe Roger Scruton sacked." He later apologised for his "social media conduct," describing it as a "serious error of judgement." As of 2 May 2019, Peter Wilby, writing in The New Statesman offered a partial and tentative apology to Scruton for the mischaracterisation of his remarks as reported in the article on him by Eaton which it had earlier published, adding that the latter's conduct was still under review by the magazine. On 23 May 2019 Eaton was removed from his position and demoted to Assistant Editor.
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- "Roger Scruton: "Cameron's resignation was the death knell of the Conservative Party"". www.newstatesman.com.
- "Government housing adviser Sir Roger Scruton fired". Property Week. 10 April 2019.
- "On the Left and Roger Scruton". Blue Labour. 11 April 2019.
- "From David Lammy to Roger Scruton, we rush to damn our opponents". The Guardian. 21 April 2019.
- "The real Roger Scruton scandal". Spiked. 11 April 2019.
- "Roger Scruton's sacking exposes the British government's cowardice". The Spectator. 10 April 2019.
- "Join my Nato or watch critical thinking die". The Times. 14 April 2019.
- "Roger Scruton: An apology for thinking". The Spectator. 11 April 2019.
- @MaajidNawaz (13 April 2019). "George Eaton's "sorry, not sorry" moment. This is not good enough. You've done immeasurable damage to mainstream media, thereby aiding "alt-media" by acting like a partisan & petulant child #ReleaseTheAudio" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "On my interview with Roger Scruton". www.newstatesman.com.
- "On my interview with Roger Scruton". The New Statesman. 12 April 2019.
- "The Scruton affair". www.newstatesman.com.