Labour demands Toby Young is sacked from new unis role over 'homophobic and misogynistic' comments

Posted On: 
3rd January 2018

Labour has called on Theresa May to sack Toby Young from his new post with the universities regulator over past comments the party said amounted to “homophobia” and “misogyny”.

Toby Young was appointed to the board of the new universities regulator
Credit: 
PA Images

Right-wing commentator and free schools campaigner Mr Young was last week appointed to the board of the new Office for Students.

But after the Independent collated a string of his past comments Labour said he was “completely unsuitable for this role”.

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In a 2011 during a session of Prime Minister’s Questions he tweeted: “That’s quite a cleavage behind Ed M[iliband].”

He followed that up a year later with: “Serious cleavage behind Ed Miliband’s head. Anyone know who it belongs to?”

In defence of the comments the following year he said: “Women who display a lot of cleavage shouldn’t then complain when men notice them.”

In another tweet he joked about a woman pictured with him that he “had my d*** up her a***”.

Attending the Emmy Awards in 2009 he wrote: “The women here are smoking hot. There should be an award for Best Baps.”

He has also referred to gay women as “hard-core dykes” and described singer George Michael as “queer as a coot”.

And he previously branded school wheelchair ramps a sign of “ghastly inclusivity” and said working-class students at Oxford University were “universally unattractive”.

Dawn Butler, the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, told the Independent: “By any measure, this is a shocking appointment by the Prime Minister. These comments show that Toby Young is completely unsuitable for this role.

“If she fails to rethink this appointment, the message Theresa May is sending to students is that under the Tories, misogyny and homophobia will not just be tolerated but rewarded.”

But Mr Young said: “I’m neither misogynistic nor homophobic. I’m a strong supporter of both women’s rights and LGBT rights.”

The journalist has set up two free schools and attended Harvard and Cambridge universities.