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Statement on behalf of the Booker Prize Foundation

Statement on behalf of the Booker Prize Foundation

We, the Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation, met today and wish to reiterate that the views expressed by Baroness Nicholson on transgender people are her own personal opinions.

The issues are complex, but our principles are clear.  We deplore racism, homophobia and transphobia – and do not discriminate on any grounds.

Literature is open, plural and questioning. We believe every author’s work should be approached by readers in the same spirit. Integrity is central to both Booker Prizes, whose judging process is conducted at all times in keeping with these values.

Upon her retirement from the Board in 2009, Baroness Nicholson was made an honorary vice president, a role that gave her no say in the governance or operations of the Foundation or prizes. In recent days there has been some confusion about the nature of honorary titles used by the Foundation. Too many believe that these titles in some way symbolise the prizes. That is not the case.


We have today decided that these titles and roles should, with immediate effect, cease to exist. Those holding them have been informed and thanked for their longstanding interest.

 

Mark Damazer CBE (chair)
Nick Barley
Carol Lake
Bidisha SK Mamata
James Naughtie
Ben Okri
Professor  Louise Richardson
Rt. Hon Lord David Willetts

 

 

Four Communications

June 2020