Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 11:03 UK

JK Rowling denied top US honour

JK Rowling
JK Rowling's Harry Potter's books have sold more than 400 million copies

Harry Potter author JK Rowling missed out on a top honour because some US politicians believed she "encouraged witchcraft", it has been claimed.

Matt Latimer, former speech writer for President George W Bush, said that some members of his administration believed her books promoted sorcery.

As a result, she was never presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The claims appear in Latimer's new book called Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor.

He wrote that "narrow thinking" led White House officials to object to giving Rowling the civilian honour.

The award acknowledges contributions to US national interest, world peace or cultural endeavours.

Past literary recipients of the award include John Steinbeck and Harper Lee.

Others denied the privilege under the Bush administration included Senator Edward Kennedy, who died in August this year.

Latimer claimed, in his book, that the veteran politician and health care activist was excluded because he was deemed to be too liberal.

Print Sponsor

Rowling quits charity over 'rift'
09 Apr 09 |  Scotland
Potter plagiarism claims denied
17 Jun 09 |  Entertainment
Rowling reads fairytale extracts
20 Oct 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
JK Rowling: From rags to riches
20 Sep 08 |  UK Politics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific