Backlash over 'offensive' tweets causes UK journalist to resign from education board


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Controversial journalist Toby Young stepped down from his role on the board of English university regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), after criticism of comments on Twitter and in columns that included repeated references to women’s breasts and comments about disabled people.

The OfS chair described the remarks as “offensive” (The Guardian) and a petition calling for his sacking has been signed by more than 200,000 people.

On stepping down on Tuesday, Young wrote (The Spectator, may be behind paywall) that his appointment had become a “distraction” from the work of the board. Young, a columnist and co-founder of the West London Free School, apologized and said the comments under fire were “ill-judged or just plain wrong.”

His appointment caused uproar in British media and social media feeds since it was announced on January 1, in an ongoing backlash against his suitability for the role. He deleted up to 40,000 tweets posted since 2009 following his appointment, which raises wider questions about the online responsibility of public figures.

This is an emerging story which needs expansion if you wish to EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.

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