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Sat, 4 April 2020

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By Dods General Election Hub 2019

Minister says No10 must improve vetting processes after adviser 'forced to quit'

Minister says No10 must improve vetting processes after adviser 'forced to quit'
3 min read

Number 10 must look again at how advisers are hired following the resignation of Andrew Sabisky over his "racist" remarks, a minister has said.


Kwasi Kwarteng said there should be "much more severe" vetting processes for staff after the controversial Downing Street contractor was forced to resign over his "racist and reprehensible" remarks.

The 27-year-old adviser announced his resignation on Monday amid a growing storm over his comments on eugenics, race and welfare claimants.

Mr Sabisky, who described himself as a "super-forecaster" was recruited after Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings put out a call for "misfits and weirdos" to apply for roles.

But the energy minister called for an overhaul of this system as he warned "unorthodox" methods could let people with "reprehensible" views into the government.

Speaking to Sky's Kay Burley, Mr Kwarteng said the adviser would have been sacked from the role but had "jumped before he was pushed".

"They were racist remarks and as soon as that came to light he left the government pretty quickly, and we have drawn a line underneath that," he said.

"I don't know how he was recruited, I don't know who he is. I read in the paper that he is 27-years-old. He has clearly got lots of views and has written profusely on them. And now I am pleased to say he has left the government."

He added: "I don't know how this man appeared on the horizon, I don't know how he was recruited...what I do know is that his remarks were offensive and racist and as soon as they came to light he left the government pretty quickly.

"I think we should prevent racists from coming into No10 or wherever he was working. I think we do need to look at these processes."

The remarks come after a spokesperson for the Prime Minister repeatedly refused to criticise the Tory adviser for his views, saying: "The Prime Minister's views on a range of subjects are well-publicised and well-documented."

'UNORTHODOX'

But asked if there would be a shake-up within Number 10 in the wake of the resignation, Mr Kwarteng said: "I think the vetting will be much more severe.

"In any walk of life, I remember working in banks before politics, there are people who slip through the net. Who are perhaps recruited in an unorthodox way and sometimes have reprehensible views.

"This happens across our community, and across our economy. And I think the main thing is to try and ensure that it doesn't happen again and I think we will be looking at vetting processes more closely."

On Monday evening, Mr Sabisky stepped down from his role, claiming he was the victim of a "giant character assasination".

He tweeted: "Hey all. The media hysteria about my old stuff online is mad but I wanted to help HMG [the government] not be a distraction.

"Accordingly I've decided to resign as a contractor. I hope Number 10 hires more people with good geopolitical forecasting track records and that media learn to stop selective quoting.

"I know this will disappoint a lot of people but I signed up to do real work, not be in the middle of a giant character assassination.

"If I can't do the work properly there's no point, and I have a lot of other things to do with my life."

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