Toby Young resigns from universities regulator role saying his appointment became ‘a distraction’

The Telegraph reports that the journalist turned educationalist apologised “unreservedly” for a string of controversial comments he had made on social media in recent years.

His announcement comes after ministers were forced to defend his appointment in the Commons on Monday following a fierce backlash from MPs – including prominent Tories.

Writing in The Spectator, Mr Young 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.”

Mr Young faced a savaging by MPs on Monday during an urgent debate in the Commons with a number of Conservative MPs expressing concerns about Mr Young’s suitability for the role.  

Senior Tory Sarah Wollaston called for Mr Young’s appointment to be reviewed, telling MPs: “I’m afraid I feel Mr Young’s comments do cross a line and are therein indicative of an underlying character and the kind of person that would tweet comments to a woman that talk about masturbating over images of refugees.”

Meanwhile, Robert Halfon, the Education Select Committee chairman and former Tory minister, attacked the “dark” and “dangerous” articles written by Mr Young in the past.

He welcomed Mr Young’s resignation on Tuesday morning, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think he has done the honourable thing and decided to step down from the student regulator and I also understand that he has apologised for all his past comments. I think we should accept that and I hope that he carries on running the free schools that he has which he does very well and I am sure he will continue to be an interesting journalist.”

Read more Toby Young resigns from universities regulator role saying his appointment became ‘a distraction’

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