Boris Johnson faces fresh questions over hiring of Andrew Sabisky

PUBLISHED: 10:32 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:32 19 February 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photograph: House of Commons/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photograph: House of Commons/PA Wire.

Labour has written to the prime minister asking him fresh questions over hiring of an aide with controversial views on black people and forcing contraception on the working classes.

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Sabisky, who once suggested enforcing the uptake of contraception to stop unplanned pregnancies from creating a "permanent underclass", announced he was standing down at the start of the week.

He said he did not want to be a distraction to the government after previous comments made by him, including that black people had IQs that were "close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation", were unearthed.

Ministers said Sabisky "jumped before he was pushed" following a slew of "reprehensible" past comments, but Labour has demanded answers about how such a figure came to be employed by Downing Street.

Labour chair Ian Lavery, in his letter to Boris Johnson demanding more information on the level of vetting involved, wrote: "Andrew Sabisky has thankfully left your government.

"However, the disturbing nature of his previous comments on eugenics, race and women, which have been well documented in the press, raise very serious concerns about your own views.

"Furthermore, there are unanswered questions about how somehow with such abhorrent views was ever considered for employment in the first place."

Lavery pointed to an article published in The Spectator magazine when Johnson was editor that "Orientals...have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole", and asked whether the PM agreed with Sabisky's views on ethnic minorities.

"If your spokesman was not referring to these views as being those that are well documented, could you explain which ones he was referring to?"

Some of the other questions asked includes:

- Do you share Sabisky's views that eugenics is "'for' good things" and that "long-term contraception at the onset of puberty" would prevent a "permanent underclass"?

- What was the process used to vet Sabisky before offering him employment?

- Who recruited him, on what terms, under what process, and who was he to report to?

- Did you personally have any involvement or sign off his hiring? If not, were you aware at all that he was being employed before it was reported in the press?

The Labour MP added: "Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about how this appointment was made and whether he agrees with his vile views."

Sabisky, when announcing he was quitting, described media reports about his previously-aired opinions as "mad".

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