Theresa May has intervened in the bitter row over obscene tweets sent by Toby Young, the controversial new appointee to the universities regulator.
The Prime Minister said she was “not impressed” by his online postings and that any repeat would mean he would lose his position on the board of the Office of Students.
Mr Young, a writer and free schools pioneer, has faced a growing barrage of criticism following his history of crude and sexist comments on social media, including multiple remarks about women’s breasts.
Appearing on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, Mrs May said: “Toby Young has done exceedingly good work in relation to free schools and that’s what has led to him being appointed to the Office for Students.
“When he was appointed I was not aware of these comments that he had made. Frankly I’m not at all impressed by those comments.
“He’s now in public office and as far as I’m concerned if he was to continue to use that sort of language and talk in that sort of way he would no longer be in public office.”
According to The Mail on Sunday, the posting included a sexual “joke” about starving children on Comic Relief.
Mr Young told the paper that he had been a “provocative journalist” for 30 years, whose stock in trade was saying “controversial, sometimes outrageous things” and that it was unsurprising people were able to “dredge up” material to embarrass him.
However he said that all the offending messages dated back at least five years, and most much longer, and that he was now a changed man, saying: “I’m a more serious person now.”