LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser on Tuesday hit back at “political pundits” who had questioned the appointment of an aide forced to resign over racist remarks.
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London, Britain February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson
When asked whether he regretted the hiring of a self-styled “superforecaster” Andrew Sabisky, Dominic Cummings told reporters: “Read Philip Tetlock’s “Superforecasting” instead of political pundits who don’t know what they are talking about.”
Cummings faced criticism over the appointment after he had advertised for “weirdos and misfits with odd skills” to help bring new ideas to Britain’s government.
Sabisky had suggested that black people were less intelligent than whites and discussed the benefits of forced contraception in online posts. He quit on Monday, saying the “media hysteria” about his posts meant he had become a distraction for the government.
Sabisky’s comments and the way he was appointed have caused upset both outside and within Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, with junior business minister Kwasi Kwarteng saying they were “offensive and racist”.
Cummings, the former campaign director of the successful “Vote Leave” Brexit campaign in the 2016 referendum, is Johnson’s most powerful a