We presumed that Toby Young’s defenders would be feeling a little embarrassed this morning after news that he had attended a racist eugenics conference – apparently not.
The London Student newspaper and Private Eye have revealed that Young attended the London Conference on Intelligence, which is run by notorious white supremacists whose academic interests include penis size and skin brightness.
The publication of those stories appears to have been the real reason for Young’s resignation from the Office for Students on Tuesday.
While ministers were willing to defend his history of misogyny and homophobia – and even his on-the-record enthusiasm for ‘progressive eugenics‘ – Young assumed they wouldn’t be able to stomach his links to hardcore racist skull measurers.
But, incredibly, Michael Gove was still willing to defend Young this morning.
Gove told LBC Radio that he had “enormous respect” for Young and that it was a “great shame” that his achievements had been overshadowed.
He concluded: “In judging Toby, I’m inclined to look at the good that he’s done rather than the stupid things he said.”
Nick Ferrari asked Michael Gove if he’d have hired Toby Young. He then had to ask the question again… pic.twitter.com/7X8g2ne5MM
— LBC (@LBC) January 11, 2018
That interview comes a full 12 hours after the latest revelations about Young broke. They have been dominating social media since then.
Gove urgently needs to clarify whether he was aware of these stories when the interview took place…