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Office for Students: Appointment

Part of NHS Winter Crisis – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 8th January 2018.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure and Energy) 4:31 pm, 8th January 2018

Happy new year, Mr Speaker.

This appointment sums up this incompetent Government. Toby Young is a Tory crony, and the Department for Education exaggerated his qualifications. He thinks teachers have it easy. He has shown prejudice against the working class. He has written several misogynistic tweets and, as we have heard, talked about masturbating to Comic Relief images of children in Africa. When that came to light, the reaction of Tory MPs, including the Foreign Secretary, was to defend him.

Young himself does not seem to care. He has not made a full apology, and he says that most of the tweets are several years old, which also seems to be the Minister’s attitude. Frankly, the Minister is putting his head in the sand. It was only two years ago that Toby Young was writing about eugenics for the working class. This House is supposed to be trying to be seen to clean up its act and Conservative Members were only too keen to call for action against Jared O'Mara when his inappropriate tweets were made public, so the rank hypocrisy is absolutely stinking.

It has been suggested that Toby Young is on a yellow card, so will the Minister tell us what constitutes a red card? Will this appointment process be reviewed? What will the Government do to allay the concerns of the National Education Union, of students and of the wider general public? And when will the Government lead by example?