An adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson quit on Monday saying “media hysteria” about his old online posts meant he had become a distraction.
Andrew Sabisky came under scrutiny after details emerged of his views on a range of subjects.
He had previously discussed the benefits of forced contraception, said that data showed the US black population had lower IQ than white people, and in a 2016 interview with Schools Week discussed the benefits of genetic selection.
Sabisky was reportedly hired following an appeal from Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings for “weirdos and misfits with odd skills” to help bring new ideas to the government.
“The media hysteria about my old stuff online is mad but I wanted to help (the government) not be a distraction,” Sabisky said on Twitter.
“Accordingly I’ve decided to resign as a contractor … I signed up to do real work, not be in the middle of a giant character assassination: if I can’t do the work properly there’s no point.”
When asked about Sabisky’s resignation today, Cummings said: “Read Philip Tetlock’s ‘Superforecasting’ instead of political pundits who don’t know what they are talking about,” according to Reuters.
Yesterday the PM’s spokesman repeatedly refused to comment on whether Johnson shared Sabisky’s views, saying only that his views were well known.
Former cabinet minister Caroline Nokes was one of the few Conservative MPs who hit out at at the appointment and Johnson for his silence.
On Twitter Nokes said: “Cannot believe No 10 has refused to comment on Andrew Sabisky. I don’t know him from a bar of soap, but don’t think we’d get on … must be no place in government for the views he’s expressed”.
Sabisky’s resignation represents a defeat for Johnson’s ally Cummings, whose approach is coming under increasing fire by Tories. He is thought to be, in part, behind Sajid Javid’s unexpected departure from the Treasury.