Historian David Starkey provoked a race row yesterday after claiming the Rochdale child exploitation ring who groomed white girls for sex had values 'that were 'entrenched in foothills of the Punjab'.
During a public debate he said the gang, who were jailed last month for targeting vulnerable teenage girls, needed to be 'inculcated in the British ways of doing things.'
But he was branded a 'racist' and a 'bigot' by journalist Laurie Penny, who attended the panel event at Wellington College in Berkshire.
Miss Penny, 25, who writes for the New Statesman, later joined him on a panel discussing Britishness and accused Mr Starkey of 'playing xenophobia and national prejudice for laughs.'
As she spoke, the audience shouted 'keep going, keep going' as she moved on to speaking about about his tax status.
Once she had sat down, the historian walked over to her, jabbed his finger in the columnist's face and declared 'I will not be lectured to by a jumped-up public school girl like you.'
As Miss Penny continued speaking, Claire Fox, director of the Insittue of Idea think tank stood up and told the journalist who has written for The Independent and the Guardian, that she was a disgrace to both women and the left.
The Sunday Times reported that following the heated exchange, Tim Novia, the chaplain of Wellington College took to the stage to prevent the situation escalating, followed by Mr Starkey's partner James Brown
On her Twitter page, Laurie Penny @PennyRed later wrote: 'When you call a racist a racist, you get attacked. I don't care. I wasn't going to let him stand there being a bigot without calling it out.
'Because ultimately, David Starkey is a troll, and that's what trolls do.'
Last month, days after the men were convicted, Mr Starkey declared that the Rochdale sex gang were 'acting within their cultural norm'.
He has also made several comments in the past which have courted controversy.
After the riots last summer on Newsnight he blamed ‘black culture’ for the trouble and claimed that parts of Enoch Powell's 'rivers of blood' speech had been right.
The British historian's comments led to around 700 complaints to the BBC, while Labour leader Ed Miliband branded the remarks 'disgusting and outrageous'.
The interview was later cleared by the TV watchdog.
Miss Penny last made headlines two months ago when she was saved from oncoming traffic by Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling and tweeted about it on her Twitter page.