Toby Young has resigned from his universities watchdog role apologising for the offence his social media posts and writings have caused over the years, just two days after the Prime Minister defended his controversial appointment to the role.
On the weekend Theresa May said that the controversialist who had made disparaging remarks about working class students, called for genetically modifying poor people, homophobic statements, appalling remarks about women’s bodies – including MP’s and scoffed about needing tissues but not for crying while watching charity appeals – had her full confidence in the role she had given him overseeing students’ interests.
But just two days later, early on Tuesday morning, Young resigned, apologising for his comments in a statement that said:
“The caricature drawn of me in the last seven days, particularly on social media, has been unrecognisable to anyone who knows me.
“I am a passionate supporter of inclusion and helping the most disadvantaged, as I hope my track record of setting up and supporting new schools demonstrates.
“But some of the things I said before I got involved in education, when I was a journalistic provocateur, were either ill-judged or just plain wrong – and I unreservedly apologise.”
Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle at the same time appeared to be unravelling as people she wanted to move stayed, others she wanted to stay left the cabinet, and two people were announced for the same post in in ten minutes.
Meanwhile it emerged that Justin Greening resigned rather than be persuaded to accept another post in the cabinet after being told she could no longer be education secretary by Theresa May. Greening refused to accept a role at the Department of Works and Pensions.
And Jeremy Hunt refused to be moved from Health Secretary to a Business role, talking the Prime Minister into giving him another chance to stay on as Health Secretary with an added social care role.
A tweet was sent out from the official @conservatives account congratulating Chris Grayling as new chairman of the party. However, the post has actually been given to Brandon Lewis. Mystery surrounds the mix-up.
Theresa May also appointed Maria Caulfield, who opposed legislation to decriminalise abortion, as the Tory vice chair for women.
There were other criticisms of Esther McVey’s reappointment to Secretary of State for Works and Pensions where she had served under Iain Duncan Smith. McVey had worked on some of his most devastating legislation for people with disabilities and is for many associated with the multi-million pound contract for ATOS workplace capability assessments which was found to fail 75% of disabled people amid massive delays and mounting appeals. She presided over some of the Department of Works and Pensions cruellest measures of recent years – as this clip should remind us all: