THE UK Government rejected the British Museum’s bid to appoint Professor Mary Beard as a trustee because of her pro-European views, it has emerged.

The classicist, 65, was turned down last year at the end of Theresa May’s premiership.

Whitehall sources said that the decision to reject her had been made because she had often aired pro-Remain views, The Observer newspaper said.

A source has since told the PA news agency that the classicist’s name was rejected because of her European stance.

The museum was reportedly told, when it asked why Beard had not been approved, that the UK Government did not appreciate her pro-European remarks, made on social media.

It is thought that the museum will still be able to appoint the professor and broadcaster, as trustees are able to appoint some members independently.

Sir John Tusa, a former trustee and former BBC World Service boss, told The Observer: “This is an absolute scandal. The trustees of the British Museum exist to protect its intellectual, academic and political independence...

“Will any Remainer now expect to be punished by the Government?”

The museum, which did not comment, is understood to be upset at the Government veto.

Beard told the Observer: “There are cock-ups and conspiracies. I’m not, however, going to diss Boris Johnson or the Department of Culture.”