A leading professor has claimed woke people are more likely to be mentally ill in an exclusive interview with GB News.

Professor Eric Kaufmann told GB News that “the mentally ill are more woke”, however he stressed “mental illness is not the main reason for wokeness”.

Mr Kaufmann, a Canadian academic at the University of Buckingham, cited American author Jonathan Haidt who claims “we’ve got this mental health crisis [and] we have also got this great awokening happening at the same time”.

The Canadian professor continued: “Students [are] saying words are violence.”

Professor Eric Kaufmann told GB News woke people are more likely to be anxious or depressed

“One of the suggestions there is that there is some connection between mental fragility and support for being protected from speech that you don’t like through censorship, and I think there’s something to that, but I don’t think that’s most of the story.”

“So I’ve looked at the US student data, which shows, for example, that it’s more a question of where you are on the left, right or liberal to conservative scale, like if you were very liberal, you’re going to be very woke.”

Mr Kaufmann described those with woke views as supporting censorship, for example “You’re not going to want anyone coming to campus who says BLM is a hate group [or that] abortion should be banned.”

“Now, if we compare someone who’s very liberal who has mental illness issues, and someone who’s very liberal but who is mentally healthy, the somebody who’s very liberal but has got mental problems is more likely to say, keep these speakers off campus.”

A number of LGBT+ flags have been put up on the exhibitA number of LGBT+ flags have been put up on the exhibitNETWORK RAIL

The professor, who has authored several books analysing attitudes towards wokeness, said that “difference is pretty small” and was better explained by an “ideology which has metastasized and spread since the 60s”.

Discussing those with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression on the Right, he said “some studies indicate you’re more pro-Trump, or for example if you’re white and male, you’re… more likely to say I’ve been discriminated against because of my race”.

Meanwhile, on the Left those who are depressed are more likely to “agree with the statement America is a racist country, but you will also agree with a statement like, Italians are racist, Chinese are racist, Hispanics are sexist, African Americans are homophobic”.

A Finnish study published in March in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology found that those with woke ideas were more likely to have anxiety and depression.

Researchers found higher instances of mental health issues particularly in respondents who agreed with the statement “If white people have on average a higher income than black people, it is because of racism.”

Mr Kaufmann’s new book, The Third Awokening, describes the demographic differences in cultural attitudes towards woke ideas.

For example, the professor argues that young women tend to be more in favour of censoring authors they disagree with, such as J K Rowling.

Young men on the other hand are more likely to be in favour of freedom of speech.

Mr Kaufmann said that it is not a “myth” to say that some younger people are more conservative in their outlook, saying while “you’ve still got the woke main branch of that youth culture, but I think you’ve got a rebellious kind of contrarian, almost trollish anti wokeism”.

He continued: “So you’ve kind of got this polarisation”.