Dominic Cummings’ call for ‘weirdos’ leads to hiring of adviser who compared women’s sport to the Paralympics

Andrew Sabisky also said richer people are more intelligent and backed prescribing mind-enhancing drug – even at cost of ‘a dead kid once a year’

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Saturday 15 February 2020 12:54 GMT
Dominic Cummings walks into Downing Street wearing baggy jeans

No 10 has recruited an adviser who attacked women’s sport and said richer people are more intelligent, after Dominic Cummings’ call to sign up “misfits and weirdos”.

Andrew Sabisky, who calls himself a “super-forecaster”, also backed giving everyone a mind-enhancing drug – even at the cost of “a dead kid once a year” – and ridiculed the “net zeroclimate change target.

Downing Street has declined to say which policy area he is working in, but confirmed he was a contractor working on specific projects rather than in the team of permanent advisers.

One source told The Times he had already made his mark, saying: “He dresses just like Dom in a scruffy jumper and jeans.

“He’s incredibly cocky and isn’t afraid of telling everyone what he thinks, however senior they are.”

Mr Sabisky, a researcher in his late 20s, has joined Boris Johnson’s administration following his chief aide’s rambling 3,000-word blogpost urging “misfits and weirdos” to help him transform government.

In one tweet, he said: “I am always straight up in saying that women’s sport is more comparable to the Paralympics than it is to men’s.”

Speaking to Schools Week in 2016, Mr Sabisky said: “Eugenics are about selecting ‘for’ good things. Intelligence is largely inherited and correlates with better outcomes: physical health, income, lower mental illness.”

In the same interview, he argued for giving all children a drug that cuts the need for sleep by two-thirds, even though it slightly increases the risk of a life-threatening condition.

He pointed to growing evidence that more hours spent in classrooms increases pupil outcomes and life chances, particularly for poorer children.

“From a societal perspective, the benefits of giving everyone modafinil once a week are probably worth a dead kid once a year,” Mr Sabisky told the magazine.

The prime minister has hailed his climate target as world-leading, but the new adviser tweeted: “Net zero is very good, but ... how? With what? Why this timeframe? Unachievable targets are worse than useless.”

Ed Davey, the acting Liberal Democrat leader, criticised the move, saying: “By allowing Dominic Cummings to hire in his own likeness, it’s hardly surprising that the prime minister’s closest advisers now have these extreme and offensive views.​

“By sanctioning Cummings’ influence of who works in Number 10 and 11, Boris Johnson is in danger of looking more like a puppet than a prime minister.”

Mr Sabisky has since defended his comment about women’s sport, saying the “context was Semenya and the need for boundary policing to protect women’s sport”.

Caster Semenya, the South African 800m Olympic champion, has faced criticism that she enjoys an unfair advantage because she is “intersex”, with higher testosterone.

However, The Times reported he had also recently deleted tweets ridiculing people “wetting themselves” over female Labour politicians including Yvette Cooper, Angela Rayner and Rebecca Long Bailey, all of whom he dismissed as “dim”.

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