Sajid javid

Sajid Javid turns on Rishi Sunak

Liz Truss has been rolling out the endorsements this week, and tonight she adds one of the Tory’s most established politicians to her list. Former Health Secretary Sajid Javid has endorsed the Foreign Secretary, praising her ‘willingness to challenge the status quo.’ The endorsement is not wholly surprising; with several polls out in the past few days giving Truss a very comfortable lead amongst Tory members, anyone thinking about the make-up of the next cabinet might feel increasingly inclined to make their support known. The real surprise is in the pointed commentary towards Truss’s competitor Rishi Sunak, whom Javid implies is ‘sleepwalking’ the UK ‘into a big-state, high-tax, low-growth, social

The NHS’s disturbing trans guidance for children

Sajid Javid spoke some sense earlier this week when he said that the word ‘woman’ should not be removed from NHS ovarian cancer guidance. The Health Secretary was responding to the revelations that the NHS website had been stripping the word ‘woman’ from its advice pages. But fine words are only a start. The Health Secretary needs to get a grip on an NHS website that seems in thrall to magical thinking on sex and gender. The problem is wider than he might realise. Quite apart from the row over the advice to women seeking advice on cervical cancer and ovarian cancer, the NHS is currently hosting a page entitled,

Saj’s struggling NHS revolution

Sajid Javid was something of a breath of fresh air when he was appointed as Health Secretary last June. Gone was the libidinous, lockdown-loving Matt Hancock; in came the Thatcherite free-marketeer promising a ‘return to normalcy.’ Since then, some of the shine has come off the Saj. First, there was the debacle over Covid passes at Christmas. And now the Health Secretary faces the perennial problem which faced his predecessors: how to pay for a creaking health service with an ageing population? In his first major policy speech last week, Javid spoke candidly to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). He warned that the NHS is on an ‘unsustainable financial trajectory’ and urged new methods to ‘reduce

The NHS vaccine mandate was bound to fail

Health Secretary Sajid Javid now looks set to drop his plans to sack unvaccinated NHS staff. It was almost inevitable given the practical difficulties that come with sacking more than 70,000 workers who showed little sign of changing their minds — all while the NHS is desperately trying to catch up with missed treatments following the pandemic. Javid is expected to say that the far milder Omicron variant has changed his calculation: Covid is no longer a threat that would necessitate compulsory vaccination. In reality, his bluff was about to be called. NHS staff would have to be vaccinated by Thursday to be double-jabbed in time for the 1 April

Watch: Sajid Javid confronted by unjabbed NHS doctor

Since becoming Health Secretary there has been one big question Sajid Javid cannot answer: how can he justify firing a worker who has recovered from Covid, has antibodies and doesn’t want the vaccine? Javid first did this with unjabbed care home workers and now plans to fire unjabbed NHS doctors. Today he met one of them — and it didn’t go well. Javid’s answer? He didn’t have one During a visit to King’s College Hospital in south London, Javid was on camera talking to NHS staff asking them what they thought about his plans for compulsory vaccination. He presumably expected them to agree. But then along comes Steve James, an intensive care doctor who

Desmond Swayne rails against the ‘Ministry of Fear’

It’s match day in Parliament as MPs gather to vote on Boris Johnson’s ‘Plan B.’ Sajid Javid kicked things off in the Commons with a plea to Tory rebels to back Boris Johnson’s last-minute compromise, there’s still much anger on the green benches, with Mr S hearing further names could be added to the 85-strong list of Conservatives who won’t vote for tonight’s measures.  And such sentiment was given voice early on this afternoon after Sir Desmond Swayne, the maverick member for New Forest West, rose shortly after Wes Streeting’s 40 minute long address gave paroxysms of pleasure to every Britpopping centrist dad. Deploying his usual tact and moderation, Swayne launched into a


Can the rebels trust Boris’s word?

There’s white smoke blowing over the House of Commons today as Sajid Javid declares ‘Peace in our Time.’ The Health Secretary – Daladier to Johnson’s Chamberlain – has emerged with an olive branch to the dozens of Tory MPs opposed to Covid passes. In a bid to placate potential rebels like Danny Kruger, Javid and Johnson are offering a compromise: they won’t proceed with mandatory jabs and vaccine passports will always carry the option of showing a lateral flow test (LFT). Many MPs remain unconvinced, with many citing the government’s failure to produce evidence that vaccine passports actually work.  Still, the concession by Johnson shows even he recognises the limits of coercion. Yet Mr

Sajid Javid’s underlings let the cat out the bag

Oh dear. The House of Commons is due to vote on the government’s ‘Plan B’ Covid strategy on Tuesday, with speculation mounting about the scale of parliamentary opposition to the proposed vaccine passports. Mr S has been keeping track of the number of Tory rebels with the current figure standing at 65 MPs – potentially the biggest rebellion since the 2019 election. But with Labour having already announced that they will back the government, it seems inevitable the restrictions will pass, regardless of the Covid Research Group’s manoeuverings. Still, amid talk of possible concessions, ministers continue to pay lip service to the notion that Parliament is being consulted on the issue. But now

Javid tells Boris: compulsory jabs are ‘unethical’

He’s only been at the health department for less than six months but has the Saj already gone native in the role? Steerpike hoped that the fetishisation of lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing had disappeared with the ejection of Matt Hancock from government. But last night the panicked package of measures in response to the Omicron variant has many backbench Tories in a state of near fury, with one messaging Mr S to complain that Plan B is ‘simply awful.’ Fortunately, while Boris Johnson appears to now be a fully signed-up member of the Blob – telling his press conference that ‘we’re going to need to have a national conversation

Mogg and The Saj face off on face masks

Tory backbenchers have had an uncomfortable relationship with face masks since they were brought in last year. Spectators in the Commons chamber are greeted by the sight of many more Labour MPs preferring to wear the coverings than their Conservative counterparts, with some of the latter relishing the divide as the fundamental difference between their two parties. But that reluctance for masks gave Sajid Javid an awkward moment at yesterday’s No. 10 press conference. After Sebastian Payne of the Financial Times pointed out to the Health Secretary that Tory MPs not wearing mask risked undermining government messaging and risked leaving them open to charges of hypocrisy, a squirming Javid said: I think

Javid says no to restrictions – for now

Is the government considering activating its ‘plan B’ Covid plans? Not yet.  After the Business Secretary played down talk of new restrictions this morning, Sajid Javid used today’s press conference to confirm that he would not be implementing the back-up plan ‘at this point’. However, the Health Secretary suggested that further measures – namely vaccine passports, work-from-home orders and mask mandates – could not be ruled out if the data substantially worsens. The main message from the press conference: get vaccinated There was a marked change in tone from Javid since the days soon after his appointment as Health Secretary when he declared that there was ‘no going back’. He said that

Sajid Javid is right to make the NHS more accountable

The health secretary has announced more money for the National Health Service. It’s a story we’ve heard time and time again – but this time the details are different. Sajid Javid has committed an additional £250 million for GP health practices to assist them in expanding their hours and upping the number of face-to-face appointments they offer. In-person appointments plummeted during lockdown and have never recovered: they are now hovering around 60 per cent, compared to 80 per cent pre-pandemic. So what’s new? In short, the money comes with more accountability. A league table is being created to rank surgeries on how many in-person appointments they offer. Patients will also

‘I’m entitled not to listen to Sage’: an interview with Sajid Javid

In six years Sajid Javid has had six cabinet jobs. He has been culture secretary, business secretary, communities secretary, home secretary and chancellor — and, just over 100 days ago, he was made Secretary of State for Health. When we meet on stage for an interview at Tory party conference, I ask him about his credentials for the job. He has none. ‘But that’s not unusual for a health secretary,’ he chirps. And experience? He has visited a few hospitals. He then offers the story of his early run-in with the NHS. As a child, he had his appendix removed in hospital. ‘Next thing I remember is being back at

Government scraps mandatory vaccine passports

On BBC One’s Andrew Marr show Sajid Javid confirmed that plans for domestic vaccine passports in England were on the way out, even before they were formally brought in: ‘We should keep it in reserve,’ he said of the government’s plans to link vaccine status to entry into nightclubs, but ‘I’m pleased to say we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.’ Vaccine passports have been a roller-coaster policy for months now, with claims made by members of the Cabinet at the start of the year that they weren’t being considered: that nothing so ‘discriminatory’, in the words of vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi, would be implemented. Since then,

Sunday shows round-up: ‘I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns’ says Javid

Sajid Javid – I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns The Health Secretary was the main guest of the day on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, hosted this morning by Nick Robinson. Robinson asked Javid about the likelihood that Christmas could be threatened once again by lockdown. Javid responded by saying that it was highly unlikely that the UK would see itself in a similar position to last year, even with an expected surge of the virus over this winter: SJ: I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns… I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown. Vaccine passports will not go ahead Last week, the Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi appeared

Javid’s cash boost can’t fix a battered NHS

The new £5.4 billion cash boost for NHS England is the easy bit of a very tricky situation for the health service and the politicians trying to work out how to deal with it. As Health Secretary Sajid Javid made clear on Monday, while the money will help deal with the backlog in treatment caused by the pandemic, it won’t do so immediately. He said that waiting lists would go up before they started to go down because people are still coming forward for treatment. Javid has been pitch-rolling for a dreadful winter ever since he took on the job, warning almost immediately that waiting lists could reach 13 million.

Robert Peston

Will Johnson’s cabinet of cardboard cutouts make a stand?

Cabinet government has become a very degraded thing. When I checked last night, cabinet ministers had still not been told whether the PM’s planned breaches of his 2019 manifesto would even be on the formal agenda for discussion at the 8.30 a.m. cabinet meeting today. But as of last night, Boris Johnson is going ahead with: a manifesto-breaking 1.25 per cent National Insurance hike to raise around £10 billion and fill the £15 billion hole in health and social care provision; a new cap-and-floor system, based on Dilnot, to limit to roughly £80,000 the amount an individual would have to contribute to their own care (the cap) and to protect approximately

Boris and Rishi skip self-isolation

Following yesterday’s news that health secretary Sajid Javid had tested positive for Covid, it seemed only a matter of time before other cabinet ministers were similarly forced to self-isolate. Javid had a ‘lengthy’ meeting with Boris Johnson on Friday afternoon, just hours before his symptoms developed. So, surely the Prime Minister will be expected to self-isolate? Think again… This morning, No. 10 has released the following statement: The Prime Minister and Chancellor have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace as contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid. They will be participating in the daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street.

Javid reveals his health priorities

Effective cabinet ministers are ones who work out what they want to do in a department on arrival, and then stick to that very small set of priorities whatever the political winds and storms. Michael Gove had this approach in the Education department, setting himself three priorities and then focusing on getting them delivered. Not only did he then replicate this approach in his subsequent Whitehall briefs, but he also inspired other ministers to do the same. Jeremy Hunt, who largely modelled himself on Gove when he became health secretary, also gave himself a small list of things he wanted to do in his time overseeing that brief. Now, it

Sajid Javid says restrictions could return after ‘freedom day’

In another sign of the government’s more cautious approach to the July 19 unlocking, Sajid Javid has just told the Commons that government guidance will encourage large venues to use ‘certification’ – in other words, proof of vaccination or a negative test – to determine who is admitted, that those working from home should return to their offices gradually and that masks will be expected to be worn on public transport. This guidance is, obviously, not the same as law but it is a clear sign that the government wants people to carry on behaving cautiously after July 19. It is a long way away from any kind of ‘freedom