Although Sajid Javid was knocked out of the Tory leadership contest, the Home Secretary could soon have a consolation prize in the form of the keys to No. 11. Javid is tipped as the frontrunner for the hotly coveted role of Boris Johnson's chancellor. Speaking at Tuesday night's Policy Exchange summer reception, Javid reflected on what he was proud of from his campaign:
“'As for the leadership campaign, I’m not sure what more I could have done! I showed off my little dog, Bailey, I showed off my mother and her cooking, even my daughter’s letter.
Although I didn’t have to reveal any unusual artistic hobbies that I might have. I made a pitch to my colleagues, and I’m proud of the support that I’ve got from some of the colleagues that I admire most. We ran a straight and honest campaign. It was a great opportunity to set out what we need to do next as a country.'
What some of his former leadership rivals have struggled to grasp:
“'But it’s funny – I know that the campaign is over for most of us, but I still keep seeing Rory Stewart’s selfies! Is someone going to tell him – or am I?'
And why he was now backing Boris:
“'I’ve been encouraged – very encouraged – by Boris’ endorsements for my leadership policies. I’ve had a few weeks now to reflect on what we need to do next as a country. And just this weekend, I came home to my own ballot paper. So I can announce to you exclusively – as revealed in a Sunday newspaper – that I voted for Boris. I have huge respect for Jeremy and the campaign that he’s been running, but I believe that Boris is best-placed to deliver what we need as a country at this critical time and he has my full support.'
The challenges that lie ahead:
“'The first and foremost challenge, of course, is to deliver Brexit. But if we can do that, and if we can tackle the underlying reasons for the growing divisions in our society, we really can bring that country together, and our best days really do lie ahead. The calendar ahead may look intimidating, but I am genuinely an optimist. There’s every chance that at next year’s reception, your speaker will be regaling you about our managed exit, our re-stabilised politics, and our robust economy. Britain is more than a match for it.'
Will it be enough to land Javid the role? Late night votes in the Commons meant that Javid started talking when Johnson was on his feet in the ITV debate. Mr S hopes the pair will have better timing should they find themselves in No.10 and No. 11.