Andrew Pierce 6pm - 9pm
James O'Brien Refuses To Stop Asking Government About Toby Young's "Vile" Tweets
5 January 2018, 15:24
The government continues to palm James O'Brien off with his requests for a response to Toby Young's tweets - but he's not going to stop asking.
A number of offensive, misogynistic and homophobic tweets have come to light since Mr Young was appointed at a government advisor on universities.
For three days in a row James has asked the Department of Education why they believe he is suitable for the role, based upon seven specific "vile" tweets that he sent.
On the first day, the DfE sent a generic copy-and-pasted response that didn't answer the question.
On day two, they said they had no further comment to make about Mr Young's controversial appointment.
But James isn't going to give in. He asked the same question for the third straight day. And this time, he got the most baffling response yet - they asked when he wanted to speak to Universities Minister Jo Johnson.
James said: "We've been asking the same question now of these people for three days.
"Now they've come back with: 'Will it still be a 1-2-1? What day would you want to interview the Minister? Is there a specific time on the show you'd want to speak to the Minister?'
"No, I haven't asked to speak to the Minister. If he wants to speak to me, that's fine, we'll fit him in wherever, but I want to know why making comments that make light of rape, making comments that mock disabled children, making comments that parody effectively the very notion of providing wheelchair access to schools, making comments about the breasts of Danny Boyle's under-age daughter while labouring under the illusion that it was his wife, making comments about the sexual desirability and what you would like to do to Helen Mirren and sundry other public figures, making comments about cleavage while watching Prime Minister's Questions.
"I just want to know why the Department of Education doesn't feel, like many of us do, that this just needs an explanation or an apology. Just let me know why it doesn't matter, because lots of people think it does."