Controversial buy to let tycoon Fergus Wilson is standing by his opinions about ‘coloured tenants.’
Having faced an onslaught of criticism following his actions, Wilson has rebutted with ‘I would do it again.’ The landlord had banned ‘coloured’ people from renting his homes, claiming that they leave them ‘smelling of curry.’ He said that ‘he was happy to rent to ‘negroes’ as ‘they haven’t generated a curry smell at the end of the tenancy.’ However, he argued that he was ‘wary’ of letting to Indian people after losing over £12,000 in rent and re-carpeting costs over a six-month period because one of his properties smelled of curry.
Mr Wilson said that the leaked email containing the ban was from August last year, and thus pre-dates his current letting criteria for 2017 which was drawn up last December. However, he has released a statement standing by his bigoted opinions, insisting that he was ‘not racist’ and that the move was an ‘economic decision.’ He compared his offensive stance to a letting ban aimed at smokers or dog owners.
Wilson commented: ‘It has transpired a disgruntled employee has decided to feed to the media details of a confidential email to Evolution Lettings where I stated I wanted no coloured tenants due to the problems we had experienced with curry smells. Why the employee was disgruntled I am not privileged to. Clearly he was most upset about something! There has been much support for the stance I have taken. I do not apologise for it. Faced with the same circumstances I would do it again. I am not racist and my beef is with curry not with the colour of someone’s skin. I have merely taken an economic decision. It is the same with dog owners and smokers. I do not feel able to take them.’
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has vowed to investigate the matter, whilst Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate described Mr Wilson as ‘the unacceptable face of the housing crisis.’