Tory MPs turn on Boris Johnson over 'racist comments' of adviser

James Morris
Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
Under fire: Boris Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings, left (AP/Matt Dunham)

Tory MPs have led a backlash against Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings over the appointment of controversial adviser Andrew Sabisky.

Caroline Nokes said Cummings, the prime minister’s senior aide, paid the price for his call for “misfits and weirdos” to work in Downing Street.

Sabisky resigned last night amid a storm over racist comments he wrote on a blog in 2014. He said black Americans have a lower IQ than white Americans.

In a post on Cummings’ blog in the same year, he advocated compulsory contraception to prevent the creation of an “underclass”.

Cummings hits out when asked about Sabisky

The National newspaper unearthed seven-year-old Reddit posts in which Sabisky said it was the “duty” of Christian women to submit to her husband’s sexual demands.

The government was also criticised for refusing to distance itself from Sabisky’s comments.

Romsey and Southampton North MP Nokes, who is chair of the Commons women and equalities committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday: “I was disappointed that yesterday there was silence from Downing Street regarding his previous comments.

“It does seem that when the call went out for misfits and weirdos, that was exactly what Downing Street got.”

Read more: This is what Boris Johnson once said about people with low IQs

She added: “I think you want to have exciting ideas and energy around policy-making in Downing Street. What you don’t want is racism, sexism and the sort of abhorrent ideas that were present in this young man’s tweets [sic].

“I think it’s important that we have the highest standards of integrity in Downing Street, that the bar be set very high, not low. I’m disappointed that it took this long for either this young man to resign or for Downing Street to take action.”

Business minister Kwasi Kwarteng also condemned Sabisky’s “completely reprehensible” and “racist” comments.

The Spelthorne MP told Sky News: “I don’t know how this man appeared on the horizon, I don’t know how he was recruited.

“What I do know is that his remarks were offensive and racist and as soon as they came to light, he left the government pretty quickly.”

Read more: The unelected official with enormous power in Downing Street

Kwarteng said he suspected Sabisky “jumped before he was pushed” when he quit Number 10 on Monday evening.

Sabisky’s comments first emerged on Sunday.

In resigning, he said the “media hysteria about my old stuff online is mad” and that he was quitting because he didn’t want to be a “distraction”.