Leading race relations campaigner Trevor Phillips says critics of professor who defended Britain’s history of empire are Stalinist

Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has condemned critics of an Oxford academic, who has called for a reappraisal of colonialism, as ‘Stalinist’.

Fifty-eight staff have signed a statement criticising Nigel Biggar over an article in which he said feelings of guilt about colonialism may have gone too far.

The regius professor of moral and pastoral theology at Christ Church wrote that society should take a more balanced view of the Empire rather than simply remembering it with shame.