Boris Johnson DEFENDS the decision to appoint Toby Young

Boris Johnson waded into an angry row over the appointment of Toby Young to a new universities regulator today, claiming his 'caustic wit' qualified him for the job.

The appointment of Mr Young, a pioneer of Tory-inspired free schools, has prompted a storm of criticism better candidates were rejected for a Conservative supporter.

Mr Young has come under fire for a series of sexist, misogynistic and offensive tweets.

Ministers have insisted Mr Young's 'diverse experience' qualifies him for the post and the Foreign Secretary insisted today he would offer 'independence and rigour'.  

But critics - including Tory MP Margot James - have branded his remarks 'unacceptable'. 

The appointment of Toby Young (file), a pioneer of Tory-inspired free schools, has prompted a storm of criticism better candidates were rejected for a Conservative supporter.

The appointment of Toby Young (file), a pioneer of Tory-inspired free schools, has prompted a storm of criticism better candidates were rejected for a Conservative supporter.

Boris Johnson (pictured last month) waded into an angry row over the appointment of Toby Young to a new universities regulator today, claiming his 'caustic wit' qualified him for the job

Boris Johnson (pictured last month) waded into an angry row over the appointment of Toby Young to a new universities regulator today, claiming his 'caustic wit' qualified him for the job

Ministers have insisted Mr Young's 'diverse experience' qualifies him for the post and the Foreign Secretary insisted today (pictured) he would offer 'independence and rigour'.

Ministers have insisted Mr Young's 'diverse experience' qualifies him for the post and the Foreign Secretary insisted today (pictured) he would offer 'independence and rigour'.

The board of the Office for Students (OfS) will open in April and be in charge of granting universities degree-awarding powers. 

Mr Young is one of 13 board members including academics, officials and business representatives under chairman Sir Michael Barber, a former teacher and government adviser.  

Since his appointment was confirmed this week, tweets referring to 'hard-core dykes' and attacking school wheelchair ramps as 'ghastly inclusivity' have emerged.  

As the row grew today, Mr Johnson tweeted: 'Ridiculous outcry over Toby Young.

'He will bring independence, rigour and caustic wit. Ideal man for job.'

THE FULL OFFICE FOR STUDENTS BOARD  

Sir Michael Barber, Chairman  

Simon Levine, CEO of DLA Piper

Toby Young, journalist

Elizabeth Fagan, managing director of Boots

Katya Hall, formerly of HSBC

Monisha Shah, chair of Rose Bruford College

Ruth Carlson, student

Martin Coleman (deputy chair), civil servant

Chris Millward, from HEFCE

Gurpreet Dehal, from HEFCE

Kate Lander, from HEFCE

Carl Lygo, former vice-chancellor of private university BPP

David Palfreyman, Director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies

Steve West, vice-chancellor of UWE

But Tory business minister Margot James broke ranks to criticise Mr Young. 

She tweeted: 'Toby Young is worthy of his appointment to the OFS but it is a mistake for him to belittle sexist comments by labelling them 'politically incorrect' a term frequently used to dismiss unacceptable comments about, and behaviour towards, women and minorities.' 

Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler said: 'If she fails to rethink

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