Jeremy Corbyn supporters round on Toby Young after university watchdog appointment

Toby Young has been appointed to the Government's new university watchdog

Toby Young has been appointed to the Government's new university watchdog

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have rounded on Toby Young after the journalist and prominent Conservative supporter was appointed to a new university watchdog.

Young, who has set up four free schools, has been appointed to the Office for Students, which will start work in April.

The appointment of the Spectator columnist - who joined Labour ahead of its 2015 leadership election to vote for Corbyn, in the hope of destroying the party - has been greeted with widespread derision in left-wing circles.

Some Corbyn supporters have suggested Young has done little to help poorer pupils. Economist Paul Mason tweeted that "Young despises working class kids who try to make good through education. That's why the Tories have put him on a body responsible for regulating higher education."

However others have focused on Young's previous comments towards women.

Dawn Butler, shadow women and equalities secretary, focused on a tweet from Young in 2009, in which he boasted of having anal sex with a woman. She retweeted the message while demanding a "serious chat" with Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom.

Others have focused on an article from 2004, which is still available on Young's website. In the piece he admits to dressing up as a woman in the hope of seducing lesbians in New York, and described some of the women in local clubs as being "hard-core lesbians."

Many have suggested that the article should automatically disqualify Young from public service, with one respondent on Twitter describing him as a "sexual predator."