British conservative philosopher, friend of Poland dies - president

Sir Roger Scruton, the author of more than 50 books on aesthetics, morality and politics, was also a government advisor and a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London and University of Buckingham. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda has described the late British conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, as a great friend of the Polish people and of a sovereign and independent Poland.

In his statement on Twitter on Sunday night, the president underlined that Scruton was one of the most outstanding conservative philosophers. In the times of the communist rule, Scruton supported democratic opposition in Eastern Europe. He was awarded high Czech state distinctions. Last June, he received the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from President Duda.

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook on Monday that the late British philosopher was the bastion of free European thinking. He also underlined that Scruton was an interdisciplinary intellectual, a defender of tradition and a great friend of the Polish people.

"Sad to hear of Sir Roger Scruton's passing. From his support for freedom fighters in Eastern Europe to his immense intellectual contribution to conservatism in the West, he made a unique contribution to public life," British Finance Minister Sajid Javid wrote on Twitter.

Historian Timothy Garton Ash said he was "a man of extraordinary intellect, learning and humour, a great supporter of central European dissidents, and the kind of provocative - sometimes outrageous - conservative thinker that a truly liberal society should be glad to have challenging it."

Sir Roger Scruton, the author of more than 50 books on aesthetics, morality and politics, was also a government advisor and a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London and University of Buckingham. He was also a visiting professor at Princeton, Stanford, Boston University Massachusetts and Cambridge. He died of cancer at the age of 75 on Sunday.