The level of criticism directed at the Government by a number of the candidates campaigning to become leaders of the Government is not modest. Indeed some of the MPs who wish to lead the Tory Party or who support candidates who are in the contest have been very up front about their anger and disrespect towards members of their own party. Yet according to this news report when an expert from within society Niamh Eastwood, the director of Release, the UK’s charitable centre on drugs and drug laws was being considered for sitting on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and after she had been approved internally within the Home Office, that Victoria Atkins, the Parliamentary under secretary for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability vetoed her because she had previously criticised the Governments approach to drugs.
The argument that is being used is that following the appalling decision to appoint Toby Young to the Office for Students and the reaction to that appointment, that the Government is now much stricter on who they will appoint to their various committees and advisory bodies. The fact is that Toby Young wrote deeply offensive tweets that covered themes such as sexism, anti gay and also claiming that wheelchair ramps being installed in British schools were a symptom of “ghastly inclusivity.” Indeed bizarrely Boris Johnson who is one of the most popular candidates in the party leadership election campaign is a big fan of Toby Young, despite these tweets. Meanwhile the tweets from Niamh whilst critical of the Government and claiming the need for provision that not everyone would support, did not in any way criticise or offend anyone outside of the Government or the Home Office.
We clearly need our Government to grow up and start to work out how to accept criticism over its policies whilst at the same time electing someone who will not welcome deeply offensive people into senior roles.