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.



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