Toby Young Resigns from University Regulator Role
Says his appointment had become a distraction after 200,000 sign petition opposing it
Toby Young has resigned from his role as an advisor on the advisory board of the Office for Students saying the appointment had become a ‘distraction’.
Over 200,000 people signed a petition calling for him to be removed from the position after attention was drawn to offensive tweets and articles he had written.
Mr Young, who runs the New Schools Network and helped set up the West London Free School in Hammersmith in 2011, made an unreserved apology for the comments he made. He had previously deleted 40,00 tweets which included comments on working class students and the size of women’s breasts.
In an article announcing his resignation he said, "I am a passionate supporter of inclusion and helping the most disadvantaged, as I hope my track record of setting up and supporting new schools demonstrates.
"But some of the things I said before I got involved in education, when I was a journalistic provocateur, were either ill-judged or just plain wrong - and I unreservedly apologise."
The Prime Minister had defended his appointment while condemning some of his past comments saying that she ‘was not at all impressed’.
Universities minister Jo Johnson who had advocated Mr Young’s appointment said his resignation and apology "reflects his character better than the one-sided caricature from his armchair critics".
Rupa Huq, who is Mr Young's MP in Ealing Central and Acton, speaking against the appointment in Parliament cited a recent Spectator column of his saying, 'I am usually the first to congratulate my constituents on their achievements, but even Toby Young’s Acton address cannot save him on this one. In his column in the Spectator on December on the 9th of December, not historical, but mere days before his appointment he boasted… “What a Big Swinging Dick I am”. The column was titled "The Subtle art of showing off at work". How does that and the fact that his West London Free School has had five headteachers in almost as many years make him qualified for this post?'
January 9, 2018