Toby Young quits so helping TMay by taking the attention away from her bungled reshuffle

January 9th, 2018

You can’t plead youthful indiscretion for things in your late 40s

It was inevitable, I suppose, after all the weekend hiatus that Toby Young was not going to be able to survive in his new role on the board of the new University regulator.

It is an OK defence to plead youthful indiscretion for things that you did in your youth. But Mr Young was in his late 40s when his more offensive tweets were published.

As well as the misogyny and homophobia that they contained the ones that I think we’re most damaging were his caustic observations about working class students at Oxford*.

The danger for the government now is that ministers were apparently not ready to do anything about them but it has been left to Young himself to quit.

I don’t think that this morning’s news is the end of the matter. This will be used by CON opponents in the same way that the the Bullingdon club connection was used against Cameron and others.

*Correction. It has been pointed out Young’s observations on working class students had been made in an article he’d written 30 years ago and had been highlighted by the Tweet furore.

Mike Smithson