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Tory leadership: Sajid Javid dismisses Boris Johnson as 'yesterday's news' as he launches campaign – live news Tory leadership: Sajid Javid dismisses Boris Johnson as 'yesterday's news' as he launches campaign – live news
(32 minutes later)
People who give presentations for a living will tell you it is always best to be the first person to make a sales pitch to the customers or the last, because these are the ones that people tend to remember. Sajid Javid was the last of the 10 Tory leadership contenders on the ballot tomorrow to hold his formal campaign launch and it was definitely one of the best - and probably the one that the most surpassed expectations. It may be too late, but this did feel like an event that might persuade a sceptical selectorate (in terms of declared MP supporters, Javid is struggling) to think again.
Javid’s personal story is well known and he spoken many times before about how he was brought up by immigrant parents who were poor but who were hard-working and loving. In the past, particularly when he first got a cabinet job, he was seen as a wooden speaker devoid of charisma. You would not say that about him today and this speech, in terms of emotional reach, was probably the best he’s ever given. More importantly, he managed to connect his own experience to the plight of the Conservative party and its need to sound less privileged and his argument - “we need to show the public we have changed, that we deserve a second look” - was a persuasive one. His policy offerings were routine and his Brexit prescription sounded even more fanciful than most of the others in this context. But in most elections it is easier being the change candidate than the status quo candidate, and Javid convincingly presented himself as the most changy person on the ticket.
Q: When did you decide that Theresa May had cut police numbers too far?Q: When did you decide that Theresa May had cut police numbers too far?
Javid says even before he became home secretary he was concerned the cuts had gone too far. Javid says that even before he became home secretary, he was concerned the cuts had gone too far.
But he was bound by collective responsibility, he says. He says that was right.But he was bound by collective responsibility, he says. He says that was right.
But he is speaking out now because he is running for leader, and people need to know what he would and would not do, he says.But he is speaking out now because he is running for leader, and people need to know what he would and would not do, he says.
And that’s it. The press conference is over.And that’s it. The press conference is over.
Javid has now taking questions from all the journalists on the list he had of news organisations he was planning to call. He says he will take questions from others in the room. Javid has now taken questions from all the journalists on the list he had of news organisations he was planning to call. He says he will take questions from others in the room.
Someone who is head of private wealth at a law firm asks what he would do to stop members of the armed forces being prosecuted for historical allegations.Someone who is head of private wealth at a law firm asks what he would do to stop members of the armed forces being prosecuted for historical allegations.
Javid says he is not happy with the current situation. He would ask his attorney general as a priority to stop these sorts of cases.Javid says he is not happy with the current situation. He would ask his attorney general as a priority to stop these sorts of cases.
Q: Are you worried your campaign has started too slowly?Q: Are you worried your campaign has started too slowly?
Javid says he is happy with the way it is going, although he is worried his dog Bailey (who features in Javid’s video) is getting more popular than he is. Javid says he is happy with the way it is going, although he is worried his dog Bailey (which features in Javid’s video) is becoming more popular than he is.
Q: Do the Tories have a problem with Islamophobia?Q: Do the Tories have a problem with Islamophobia?
Javid says he thinks there is a growing problem with Islamophobia in society at large.Javid says he thinks there is a growing problem with Islamophobia in society at large.
He does not think the Conservatives have a particular problem. But people should speak out if they hear something objectionable, he says. He says he would be happy for an organisation to come in and look at the party’s record.He does not think the Conservatives have a particular problem. But people should speak out if they hear something objectionable, he says. He says he would be happy for an organisation to come in and look at the party’s record.
Q: Why do you think you could get the EU to offer a Brexit deal?Q: Why do you think you could get the EU to offer a Brexit deal?
Javid says having a new team will make a difference. There have been reports that the EU will be more flexible.Javid says having a new team will make a difference. There have been reports that the EU will be more flexible.
He says he started in the City at the bottom. He ended up near the top. He spent his career doing deals, doing some of the biggest bond trades in the world.He says he started in the City at the bottom. He ended up near the top. He spent his career doing deals, doing some of the biggest bond trades in the world.
Q: Would you appoint someone who has taken class A drugs as home secretary?Q: Would you appoint someone who has taken class A drugs as home secretary?
Javid says that is a reference to his good friend Michael Gove. He says Gove is big enough himself to defend his record.Javid says that is a reference to his good friend Michael Gove. He says Gove is big enough himself to defend his record.
Q: Do you regret depriving Shamima Begum of her citizenship?Q: Do you regret depriving Shamima Begum of her citizenship?
Javid says he cannot comment on individual cases like this. Javid says he cannot comment on individual cases such as this.
But he says as home secretary his priority is to keep the country safe. And he says, when he receives advice from security officials, people would expect him to take it. But he says as home secretary, his priority is to keep the country safe. And he says, when he receives advice from security officials, people would expect him to take it.
Javid says that he would not push to change abortion laws. Javid says he would not push to change abortion laws.
Q: What are the main differences between you and the favourite, Boris Johnson?Q: What are the main differences between you and the favourite, Boris Johnson?
Javid says he is a change candidate.Javid says he is a change candidate.
Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news. He’s been around in politics for a while.Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news. He’s been around in politics for a while.
Javid says his life experience is different. He can connect with 90% of the country.Javid says his life experience is different. He can connect with 90% of the country.
Javid starts by taking a question from Sky’s Beth Rigby.Javid starts by taking a question from Sky’s Beth Rigby.
And he says she does not need to worry about anyone booing her for doing her job.And he says she does not need to worry about anyone booing her for doing her job.
That is a reference to what MPs supporting Boris Johnson were doing at this morning event. Javid’s comment goes down very well with journalists. That is a reference to what MPs supporting Boris Johnson were doing at this morning’s event. Javid’s comment goes down very well with journalists.
Q: Are you worried the Tories are turning into the nasty party? Q: Are you worried the Tories are turning into the ‘nasty party’?
Javid says he is worried about politicians “around the world” promoting division.Javid says he is worried about politicians “around the world” promoting division.
(That seems to be a reference to President Trump.) (That seems to be a reference to Donald Trump.)
And he claims that Jeremy Corbyn is already pursuing divisive politics. And he claims Jeremy Corbyn is already pursuing divisive politics.
He wants to bring people together, he says.He wants to bring people together, he says.
Q: Are you saying Boris Johnson is like Trump?Q: Are you saying Boris Johnson is like Trump?
Javid says of course we need vigorous debate. But he wants to bring people together.Javid says of course we need vigorous debate. But he wants to bring people together.
Javid says it is almost two centuries since Disraeli coined the concept of one national conservatism.
It is no coincidence he was an outside (Disraeli was a jew).
Now it is time for another outside to revive the party.
His family came here for freedom and prosperity. He has always been an optimist. And he feels an obligation to his family to secure the country’s future, so it remains a beacon.
Javid says he wants to see more police on the streets.
And he wants to continue investing in the NHS.
He says he has a supportive family. The government must support families in everything it does, he says.
Javid says the UK needs world-class public services.
It needs fiscal responsibility - keeping debt going down.
And it needs a more balance economy, and investment in the whole of the UK.
He says people argue we should not obsess so much about growth.
But he does care about growth. That guarantees people can have jobs and public services.
Public services were a lifeline for him, he says.
Services like the NHS are “the beating heart of our country”, and they deserve a prime minister who believes in them.
Javid says the Tories won’t deliver on the referendum result just by leaving the EU.
The vote to leave was not just a critique of the EU system, but of the Westminster system too.
He says the Tories have lost their competence and their confidence.
The Tories need to take on the elites and the cartels, in the public and private sectors, he says.
The problem with the Westminster elite is they have always been insiders. He does not blame them for that.
But it was not connections that got him where he is today; it was public services, hard work and family.
Javid says his experience, dealing with issues such as Grenfell Tower and Windrush, has humbled him greatly.
He says the Conservative party should not be doubling down on divisions.
We are at a crossroads, he says, and need to stop the country going in the wrong direction.
Sajid Javid says the Tories need “a new kind of leadership from a new kind of leader”.
The Conservatives have been in power for almost a decade.
They will face a fourth general election. But they have won only one majority in the past quarter of a century, and they only won that narrowly.
Javid says the Tories need to extend their appeal: “We need tomorrow’s leader today.”
Javid says he has a positive plan for Brexit.
And he says he can keep Jeremy Corbyn away from Brexit.
Delivering Brexit is only a first step, he says. It will not be enough for the Tories to win a majority.
It might surprise some people in Westminster, but most people in this country don’t just talk about Brexit.
Javid says people want to hear the Tories talk about other things.
And he knows this can happen – because it has happened in Scotland.
The Tories used to do so badly in Scotland that people joked about there being more pandas there than Tory MPs. But then the party threw out candidates from central casting, and elected Ruth Davidson (a young, blunt-speaking lesbian). Since then, the party has been gaining support in Scotland.
Sajid Javid is speaking now.
He says he is used to being told he is different. As a child, he remembers being advised by friends they had to walk home a different route because they were being threatened.
His friends went abroad on holidays. He went to Rochdale, but his friends did not realise, because it looked like he had a tan.
Javid says he has been constantly told options are not for him – going to university, going into banking, going into Conservative politics.
And when he wanted to marry a white Christian, there were people in his wider community who said he should not, and that his children would be half-caste.
But he did marry and his children would not even recognise the term. They are part of modern Britain.
Javid says he is used to being told what he can’t do. But he is more interested in what people can do.
He says the fact he can put himself forward as a candidate shows the strength of his party.
The Sajid Javid campaign launch is getting under way. It was held up because of the Commons vote.
Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, is introducing him.
She has recently had a baby and she says there is not much that would get her to leave her child. But she has come from Edinburgh to London to introduce him because she is such an admirer.
She says they first met when Javid beat her in the contest to be selected as the candidate for Bromsgrove 10 years ago.
She says he has shown energy and dynamism in all the government jobs he has had.
She says the Tories are struggling to speak to great swathes of the country. But she says Javid understands people’s concerns because he has lived them.
The Conservatives have always done well with a leader brought up above the shop, she says.
The pound has fallen to its lowest level of the day against the US dollar, suggesting City traders think the risk of a no-deal Brexit has risen. Sterling just dropped by one-third of a cent to $1.269, the lowest level since early yesterday morning