Sajid Javid is the new Culture Secretary. Javid has impressed as a junior minister at the Treasury. He has learnt the political ropes fast despite only becoming an MP in 2010 and having done very little in politics before that.
Javid’s appointment will please modernisers and the right alike. The right will be pleased that this Eurosceptic, Thatcherite has made Cabinet. Modernisers will be pleased that the Tories have their first Muslim male Cabinet Minister.
Javid comes with a back-story that is all too rare in British politics. He is the son of a bus driver and was the first person in his family to go to university. His father, an immigrant from Pakistan, was nicknamed ‘Mr Night and Day’ because he worked so many jobs to make end meet. From university, Javid went into the City where he excelled, becoming a vice-president at Chase Manhattan at the age of 25.
In an interview last year, Javid told me
‘Because of my background and the challenges I have had and the job I have had before, I have worked with and had friends from every group of society. I don’t think that’s true of all politicians, and that hopefully helps me empathise with and connect with people facing problems at any point on the social ladder, whether they’re a bus driver or an investment banker. I understand the issues and concerns they’re facing.’
Javid becomes the first member of the 2010 intake to make Cabinet. His promotion will be seen as a further sign of George Osborne’s influence over reshuffles, Javid’s political career gathered real momentum when he became Osborne’s PPS in October 2011.
But with Miller’s departure, there is now not a single mother in the Cabinet. Cameron is going to have to address that at the next reshuffle.
Update: Nicky Morgan, who is a mother, has now been made Minister for Women and will attend Cabinet in that role