James Questions Toby Young's Government Role Over "Vile" Tweets

3 January 2018, 14:55 | Updated: 3 January 2018, 14:56

James O'Brien asked the government how new advisor Toby Young's "vile" tweets do not disqualify him from his new job as a University Advisor. And the reply he got from the Department of Education was baffling.

Young, a journalist who helped set up the West London Free School, has come under pressure since his appointment as a series of homophobic and misogynistic tweets he wrote have come to light.

James believes they make him completely unsuitable for the role.

James O'Brien had strong words for Toby Young
James O'Brien had strong words for Toby Young. Picture: LBC / PA

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "The government's Universities Adviser has been appointed and I just wanted the people that appointed him to explain to you why these tweets, which strike many of us as evidence of unsuitability for that sort of role and indeed status, hadn't troubled them.

"So I thought they'd say 'Well you know obviously this is completely unacceptable, but we're confident he's grown up a bit. We understand your concerns but holding people responsible for stuff that they tweeted six or seven years ago doesn't exclude from this sort of job.'

"This is their response. 'Toby Young's diverse experience includes time at Harvard Harvard and Cambridge.' He was studying both of those universities so that was a bit like saying my diverse experience includes time at the London School of Economics.

"'As well as co-founding the successful West London Free School. His experience will be vital in encouraging new providers...' Do you think they've just cut and pasted this and not responded to our request at all? Surely not, because that would undermine the most basic requirements of the job wouldn't it? Responding to specific inquiries from Her Majesty's press.

"'The appointments to the board reflect the diverse needs of the higher education sector, young people and employers.'

"So they appear to be suggesting that we need people who think that jokes about anal rape are funny. And comments about women's breasts, which he made on an almost industrial scale right across his social media account. And I'm not even mentioning the quotes journalism end quotes that maligned disabled people and children with special educational needs.

"it would appear that when we asked them about the pornographic nature of his tweets and the utterly unacceptable misogyny of much of his social media presence, they respond by telling us that the appointments reflect the diverse needs of the Higher Education sector."

Young has been deleting a number of tweets as they come to light, so we've screen-shotted them to ensure they don't get lost.

WARNING: Extremely offensive language below.

Toby Young's deleted tweet
Picture: Twitter
Toby Young's deleted tweet
Toby Young's deleted tweet. Picture: Twitter
Toby Young's deleted tweet
Toby Young's deleted tweet. Picture: Twitter
James O'Brien dissects 'baffling' US gun control opposition

James O'Brien dissects 'baffling' US gun control opposition

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

'I feel used!' Tearful veteran 'embarrassed' by Britain's Afghan withdrawal

'I feel used!': Tearful veteran 'embarrassed' by Britain's Afghan withdrawal

James O'Brien's 'astonishing' takedown of PM's Partygate misconduct

James O'Brien's 'astonishing' takedown of PM's Partygate misconduct

Boys at Rishi Sunak's school had 'no idea' about outside world says ex-employee

Boys at Rishi Sunak's school had 'no idea' about outside world says ex-employee

James O'Brien: Rishi Sunak's wealth 'unjustifiable' amid cost of living crisis

James O'Brien: Rishi Sunak's wealth 'unjustifiable' amid cost of living crisis

John Sweeney: I do not think that Vladimir Putin has long for this world

John Sweeney: I do not think that Vladimir Putin has long for this world

James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

Most Red Wall seats worse off under Boris Johnson despite levelling up promise

Most Red Wall seats worse off under Boris Johnson despite levelling up promise

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'running scared of backbenchers' over obesity

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'running scared of backbenchers' over obesity

Exclusive
Jamie Oliver spoke to James O'Brien on LBC today

Jamie Oliver’s Eton Mess protest on Downing St as he slams Boris for child obesity u-turn

'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

'It's 21st century bloodsport': Columnist tracks down Oxford student 'hounded out' of UK

'It's 21st century bloodsport': Columnist tracks down Oxford student 'hounded out' of UK

James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

James O'Brien argues the government has "massively conned" the public into thinking that it doesn't matter that "the only Covid law-making address in the country has become the biggest Covid law-breaking address... arguably in the world".

James O'Brien: Press 'conned' you that Partygate doesn't matter, I think it's worked

Food bank worker accuses idiot' Tory MP Lee Anderson of lying

Food bank worker accuses 'idiot' Tory MP Lee Anderson of lying