Sajid Javid, 'more Thatcherite than Thatcher', tipped for top

Apr 10, 2014
The Mole

But the real winner from yesterday's Cabinet coup is George Osborne: will Boris ever catch up?

Rob Stothard/Getty Images

FORGET about Maria Miller: it's time to focus instead on her far more exciting successor as Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Sport, Women and Equalities – Sajid Javid. 

Tim Montgomerie, the former editor of ConservativeHome and now a Times columnist, is hailing Javid as the first real son of Thatcher to make it to the Cabinet.

Montgomerie and Javid were at Exeter University together and both joined the Conservative Association there in the late 1980s. 

"I’ve forgotten how many Star Trek movies we’ve watched together," says Montgomerie.

"I remember him going to Tory conference to protest at the Thatcher government’s decision to join the ERM. He handed out leaflets describing the decision as a fatal economic mistake. He was more Thatcherite than Margaret Thatcher and the Black Wednesday experience vindicated his judgment."

Muslim by background, Javid is the first of the diverse 2010 intake of Tory MPs to make it to the Cabinet. 

It's enough to make The Sun tip Javid to become "Britain’s first non–white Prime Minister following his extraordinary rise from humble beginnings to the political big time".

It won’t be long before he is being dubbed 'the British Barrack Obama' – the title previously until now by Labour’s Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary, who, like Javid, is as bald as a billiard ball.

Javid pere, Abdul-Ghani Javid, migrated from Pakistan to Britain in 1961, arriving at Heathrow with a £1 note in his pocket. He found work in a Rochdale cotton mill but went on to drive buses, run a market stall and eventually open his own shop in Bristol.

After attending a comprehensive in Bristol, Sajid Javid studied economics and politics at Exeter. He married a Christian girl, Laura, and made millions working for Deutsche Bank – industry sources say he was earning £3m a year – before taking a huge pay cut to become MP for Bromsgrove.

In the short term, Montgomerie believes he will make a fine Culture Secretary. "If he can survive the trial by trivia that faces every Culture Minister — What was the last play you saw? Who is your favourite contemporary British artist? Which team holds the FA Cup? — he is likely to use his new portfolio to uphold press freedom, protect commercial media organisations from BBC expansionism and champion private investment in the arts."

In the longer term, says Montgomerie, while being an ex-banker "may not endear him to many", Javid could make a far more lasting impression on British politics than the resignation of his predecessor.

But in the scramble to tip Javid for the top, are we missing the real winner in yesterday's announcement of Maria Miller's passing and the arrival of Javid and Nicky Morgan in the Cabinet?  

As The Mole pointed out yesterday, it was George Osborne who was campaigning hardest for Miller to go. He could see the damage the scandal was going to cause the Tory party in the upcoming local and European elections – and he was furious that Miller's refusal to go was overshadowing the release of improved growth figures by the IMF.

Not only did her get his way with Miller's resignation – but both Javid and Morgan, suddenly catapulted into the Cabinet, are his proteges. Javid was the Financial Secretary at the Treasury while Morgan was Economic Secretary.

Osborne managed to organise this coup even while travelling in Brazil. He remains the man most likely to succeed Cameron and now has two allies in top jobs where he can watch over them. Boris will have to pedal hard to catch Osborne now.

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