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 Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 4:31 pm, 8th January 2018

I thank my hon. Friend for his questions. The panel was correctly composed. As I said earlier, it consisted of a senior civil servant from the Department for Education, Sir Michael Barber himself and an independent panel member. They conducted the interview with Mr Young in the same manner as they conducted interviews with other candidates and found him appointable. In respect of due diligence, one has to look at what is reasonable and proportionate for a panel to do. Neither I nor the Department were aware of the offensive tweets before the appointment was made, but there is nothing unusual about that. Many of the remarks were made years—in some cases, decades—ago and it is not reasonable or proportionate for the Government to trawl through tens of thousands of tweets over many years when making public appointments.