Javid accuses Johnson of threatening national interest in jaw-dropping speech

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid has accused Boris Johnson of threatening the national interest with his reshuffle.

Mr Javid resigned during the shake-up of the Cabinet, when he was ordered to sack all of his advisers.

The Prime Minister has implemented a single team of advisers between Number 10 and the Treasury – a power grab which gave Mr Johnson and top aide Dominic Cummings a firmer grip over public finances.

But in a jaw-dropping personal statement to the House of Commons, Mr Javid warned the move would "significantly inhibit" the Chancellor's ability to work.

"It has always been the case that advisers advise, ministers decide – and ministers decide on their advisers," he told MPs – as Mr Johnson and his new Chancellor Rishi Sunak listened from the front bench.

"I couldn't see why the Treasury, with the vital role that it plays, should be the exception to that.

"A Chancellor, like all cabinet ministers, has to be able to give candid advice to a Prime Minister, so he is speaking truth to power.

"I believe the arrangement proposed significantly inhibits that and it would not have been in the national interest."

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak 'will have to raise taxes' to meet Tory spending pledges

  • Dominic Cummings plotted removal of Sajid Javid in No10's biggest power grab for decades

Speaking from the backbenches for the first time in eight years, Mr Javid said he was "grateful" to the Prime Minister for asking him to keep his job, he could not accept the conditions attached to his reappointment "in good conscience."

He went on to joke about Mr Johnson's senior aide and issued a warning to the PM not to tie the hands of Mr Sunak.

He said: "I don't intend to dwell on the details and the personalities. The Cummings and goings, if you will."

  • Boris Johnson's aides 'told to keep memos short' to make sure he reads them

He said: "Much of this commentary was just gossip and distraction, and now it's in the past.

"I very much hope the new Chancellor will be given the chance to do his job without fear or favour."

He went on to praise the PM's plans for government, and added that the Prime Minister had his "full confidence" and his team had "my full support to get it done."

Mr Javid said: "To govern is to choose.

"And these rules crystallise the choices that are required: to keep spending under control, to keep taxes low, to root out waste and to pass the litmus test, rightly set in stone in our manifesto, of debt being lower at the end of the Parliament."

The widely-respected Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said Mr Sunak will have to use his Budget to put up taxes if he is to maintain the Government's rules on borrowing.

Loosening or abandoning the rules, set out in last year's Conservative election manifesto, would undermine the credibility of any fiscal targets the Government set, the think tank warned.

During the election campaign Mr Javid committed to run a balanced budget for current spending within three years.

Following Mr Javid's statement, the Prime Minister thanked Mr Javid for his speech and "immense service" to the country, saying he had "friends and admirers on all sides of this House of Commons".

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted that Mr Javid had launched a "damning attack" on Mr Cummings' "dominance" of the Johnson administration.

But he also claimed it was an "unashamed leadership bid" and added there would be "rough waters ahead for Sunak and Johnson".

Source: Read Full Article