Tory leadership race: Will 'outsider' Sajid Javid's 'hard working' rise continue to Number 10?

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Race for Number 10: Sajid Javid

In a series of in-depth profiles, we take a look at the Tory leadership candidates to replace Theresa May and become Britain’s new Prime Minister.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid launched his campaign on Tuesday June 11. He is seen as a strict force in the Tory party after holding multiple roles in the Cabinets of Theresa May and David Cameron.

As of the June 13 ballot, Javid is one of the seven remaining candidates in the race for office as he progresses to the second round of party voting.

In one sentence:

Uncompromising, driven and articulate, Javid has risen from a humble background - an “outsider” who’s unafraid to ruffle a few feathers.

Betting odds:

Javid is in fifth place at 45/1, according to Betfair.com.

How did he vote on Brexit, and what does he think now?

Javid had a reputation as a Eurosceptic and surprised many when he voted to Remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum.

But recently, the Home Secretary has said he would choose a no-deal Brexit over remaining in Europe, pledging to “deliver Brexit” if he succeeded Mrs May as Prime Minister.

Javid when he was part of the Treasury team under George Osborne in 2013 (PA)

He told the BBC: "If we got to the end of October and the choice was between a no-deal and no Brexit I would pick no deal.

"The three things that we need to deliver, which are absolutely essential, (are) Brexit by the end of October this year, unifying the country - that's bringing people together - keeping Corbyn out of Number 10.”

Any controversy?

Javid, an avid Tory supporter and Thatcherite, got into a spot of bother at the 1990 Conservative Party conference for handing out leaflets against Prime Minister Thatcher’s decision to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism, alongside Robert Halfon, David Burrowes and Tim Montgomerie

Years later, Javid faced questions as business secretary over Tata steel and during his short lived stint as communities secretary, he faced questions over the Government’s response to the Grenfell disaster.

Mr Javid making a statement following the Grenfell Tower disaster (PA)
(PA)

As Theresa May’s Home Secretary, he received criticism over his plans to tackle knife crime in the UK, despite taking a hard line approach to violent crime.

He stirred controversy for banning Shamima Begum from re-entering the UK after she fled to join Isis, and revoked her British citizenship.

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Javid announced medicinal cannabis would become available for prescription on the NHS - but insisted it was not a step towards legalisation of the drug.

Voting history:

Sajid Javid voted in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry in the UK in February and May 2013.

In December 2015, Mr Javid voted to to restrict the support available to failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants.

In March 2016 he voted in favour of greater state surveillance powers, allowing the bulk interception of communications and equipment interference.

Leadership rivals Javid and Hunt smile during the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on June 5. But have the smiles faded? (GETTY)

Biggest policy promises?

Mr Javid’s leadership pitch sees him pledge to change the image of the Tories across the country, while stressing his comparatively humble beginnings as the son of a bus driver.

He said it was time to follow the Scottish Tories and “leave the short-term comfort zone and throw out central casting” by picking a fresh face.

On Brexit, Mr Javid said the UK must prepare for no deal, but insisted he could get an agreement through Parliament by October 31.

Career to date:

The MP for Bromsgrove was born in Rochdale on December 5, 1969, one of five sons of parents who had moved to the UK from Pakistan. His father was a bus driver. He attended school in Bristol after his parents took over a ladieswear shop in the city..

At the age of 18 Javid met his wife, Laura King while he was working a summer job as a document stapler for Commercial Union in Bristol and they married in 1997. He then studied Economics at Exeter University before getting a job in the finance sector.

He moved to the US to pursue a career in finance and became a vice-president at Chase Manhattan Bank at the age of 25, before moving to Singapore for a period with Deutsche Bank. He became a managing director before leaving in 2009 to concentrate on politics.

Sajid Javid when he was appointed as Business Secretary by David Cameron in 2015 (PA)

He began his political career with roles in the Treasury under George Osborne, before becoming the first cabinet minister of Asian descent when he was appointed Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport in 2014. He has been MP for Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, since 2010.

A year later he became business secretary in 2015, before being appointed Communities Secretary in 2016. During that time he mounted a short-lived bid to succeed David Cameron as Conservative leader after the 2016 referendum, on a ‘joint ticket’ with Stephen Crabb.

Javid became Home Secretary in 2018, replacing Amber Rudd after she resigned amid the Windrush scandal. He publicly voiced his anger over the scandal when he came to office making the subject his first priority in office.

What his colleagues say:

Education Select Committee Chairman Robert Halfon MP: "Sajid Javid started from nothing and it's incredible to see the left-wing intelligentsia criticise him for having money."

Vote Leave campaign manager Matthew Elliott: “I think Saj has the negotiating experience and the plan to get changes there. And having known him for over 15 years, he has always had Eurosceptic sympathies. He will want to see it through. He will want to see Britain leave by October 31.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Sajid Javid attends the European Premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at Leicester Square on December 16, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson: “Leadership is about character. That is why, among the contenders to become the next leader of the UK Conservative Party, I believe Sajid Javid is the man for the job."

Public awareness?

According to YouGov, Javid is the 10th most popular Conservative politician and the 14th most famous party member.

In his own words:

On knife crime in March 2019: “I want serious violence to be treated by all parts of government, all parts of the public sector, like a disease and I want us to tackle it the same way – everyone would come together.”

On being ‘snubbed’ from Donald Trump’s state banquet in June: “I don’t know [why I wasn’t invited]. I have asked. I was just told that normally home secretaries aren’t invited. So I don’t know. I don’t like it. It is odd. My office did ask No 10 and they said ‘no’. You’d have to ask someone from No 10 why they made that decision.”

Speaking of his religious background in 2010: “My own family's heritage is Muslim. Myself and my four brothers were brought up to believe in God, but I do not practise any religion. My wife is a practising Christian and the only religion practised in my house is Christianity.”

Did you know?

At the age of 14, Javid went to see his father's bank manager and arranged to borrow £500 to invest in shares in a bid to realise his dream of working in the city. The hard working politician proved his school wrong after teachers suggested he become a TV repair man.