Tory anger as Truss allies brand Sajid Javid ‘s***’ amid claims he was first choice to become chancellor
Tory MPs reacted furiously today after allies of Liz Truss launched a brutal attack on former minister Sajid Javid.
Amid rumors that he was the prime minister’s first choice to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, sources told the Sunday Times she considered him ‘s***’ after working with him in the cabinet for years.
They also suggested Ms Truss “laughed out loud” at the idea of Mr Javid returning to number 11, having been fired by Boris Johnson in 2020.
Mr. Kwarteng was fired on Friday because of the mini-Budget and was replaced that day by Jeremy Hunt, the former foreign minister.
But the attack on Javid sparked criticism from other Tory backseats.
Education Committee chairman Robert Halfon said today the attack was “disgusting.”
He told Sky News: ‘The briefings that have come out with four letter words to describe Sajid Javid, I’ve known him since college, he’s a really good man, he was respected.
“He didn’t tank the economy when he was chancellor and if the prime minister wants to unite the party and get people around her, then these kinds of negative briefings about colleagues have to stop.
Amid rumors that he was the prime minister’s first choice to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, sources told the Sunday Times she considered Sajid Javid ‘s***’ after working with him in the cabinet for years.
Education Committee chairman Robert Halfon said today that the attack was “disgusting” and said Javid was a “good and decent man”.
And ex-chief whip Mark Harper said: ‘Sajid Javid is a good colleague and although we supported several candidates in the leadership election, I am proud to call him a fellow conservative’
“All it does is bring disharmony to the party, when what the prime minister should do is do everything possible to bring people together, bring the country together.”
And ex-chief whip Mark Harper said: ‘Sajid Javid is a good colleague and although we supported several candidates in the leadership elections, I am proud to call him a fellow conservative.
‘No10 making nasty insults about *their own* colleagues won’t help the Conservative Party if we have to work together.’
It comes amid reports today suggesting that Ben Wallace, the respected defense minister, is being drafted as a possible prime minister, with Rushi Sunak as chancellor.
Questions still linger with the government over whether it could get enough support from a divided party for a series of painful tax and spending decisions that have already brought back memories of the austerity era under David Cameron and George Osborne.
In a media storm over the weekend, both Mr Hunt and Ms Truss tried to win their own parties and voters over to the new Downing Street regime.
After completing several interviews on Saturday, the new chancellor will later appear on BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.
Ms Truss, who used a piece in The Sun newspaper to admit that firing her friend and ideological soul mate, Mr. Kwarteng, had been a ‘wrench’, said: ‘We cannot pave the way for an economy with low taxes and fast growth without the confidence of the markets in our pursuit of sound money.’
Mr Hunt wrote in the Telegraph that the government was ‘changing course’.
So far, his appointment has failed to dampen speculation about an imminent coup against Ms Truss.
Rishi Sunak, the defeated candidate for leadership and former chancellor, and Wallace were among the names flagged as potential replacements.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told LBC on Saturday that for Ms Truss it all depends on how markets receive the tax plan at the end of the month.
While he said he believes Mr Hunt can stabilize the ship, he warned that if “it fails to satisfy the markets and please everyone and the economy is still in chaos, I think we will would be in a very difficult situation’.
Elsewhere, there has been speculation that including the Defense Department in a round of austerity could lead to a clash with Mr Wallace.
A defense source said he will hold Ms Truss up to the commitments made.
Ms Truss pledged to increase defense spending to 3 percent of GDP by 2030, in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
Yet the prime minister still has her defenders within the party.
Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson, wrote in the Daily Express: ‘The sad truth is that those who are plotting to oust the Prime Minister from Downing Street are the same conspirators who have conspired to get rid of Boris. They will not rest until they have anointed their own elected leader to power.”