The British justice secretary, Michael Gove, has apologised for comparing economic experts warning about Brexit with the Nazis who smeared Albert Einstein in the 1930s.
It came after British prime minister David Cameron said his friend and cabinet colleague had “lost it” and made a “massive mistake” in making the comparison.
Apologising for the comments, which he made on LBC radio on Tuesday, Mr Gove said: “I was asked a question by Iain Dale about the predictions of doom for the economy.
“I answered, as I often do, with a historical analogy. It was clumsy and inappropriate.
“Obviously I did not mean to imply anything about the motives of those who have spoken out in favour of staying in the EU.
“Throughout the campaign I’ve avoided making personal attacks, I’m sorry for speaking so clumsily and apologise for giving offence.”
His apology came shortly after fellow Leave campaigner Boris Johnson backed Mr Gove. Mr Johnson, the former London mayor, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: “Michael Gove has run an absolutely fantastic campaign and he is right in what he says, I think.
“Some of these experts, they totally failed to foresee the crash of 2008.”
Mr Gove sparked outrage when he claimed experts cannot always be trusted and pointed to the German scientists used to denounce Einstein to prove his point.
He told LBC: “We have to be careful about historical comparisons, but Albert Einstein during the 1930s was denounced by the German authorities for being wrong and his theories were denounced, and one of the reasons of course he was denounced was because he was Jewish.”
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