One of the world’s most successful authors has branded the president-elect of the United States a “bigot” in a passionate defence of free speech.
JK Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter series of children’s books, spoke out following the surprise election of Donald Trump in November.
In a letter sent in December to members of PEN America, the author said: “The events of the last month have many Americans feeling shocked and disoriented.
“So many issues are in flux and valued institutions in potential jeopardy.
“Last May I joined PEN America in New York City and, to some gasps around the room, defended Donald Trump’s freedom of expression.
“I said then that “his freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.”
“Donald Trump has taken full advantage of his freedom of speech; it is now up to the rest of us to use ours.”
Rowling, who has lived in Scotland since 1993, added: “If we don’t speak now, we risk forfeiting our right to speak later.”
The author has regularly been critical of Trump, an outspoken New York businessman with no previous political experience who made a string of controversial comments during last year’s election campaign.
When one American twitter user last year said Rowling should mind her own business, as she was a British citizen, the writer replied it “everybody’s business” if “ignorant and easy to manipulate” Trump was elected.