Scruton 'failed to declare tobacco payments'

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The right-wing philosopher and writer Roger Scruton, who fiercely attacked the World Health Organisation's tobacco-free programme recently, is paid a salary of more than £50,000 by one of the world's largest tobacco companies, Japan Tobacco International, it was disclosed last night.

Mr Scruton wrote a pamphlet for the Institute of Economic Affairs, a think-tank, last year, criticising the WHO's drive for an anti-tobacco convention, arguing that such a meeting would encourage criminal activity rather than discouraging smoking.

He added that it would confer "massive legislative and policing powers on unaccountable bureaucrats". But he apparently omitted to declare his interest in the pamphlet.

Mr Scruton and his wife, who jointly run a public affairs company, are also believed to have put proposals to Japan Tobacco International in October to place articles defending the tobacco industry in newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Spectator, The Economist and The Independent.