It’s shocking and brilliantly predictable: how quickly loyalties can crumble when jobs are at stake.
Less than a fortnight ago, Rishi Shankar was the favorite to win the race for number ten, with insiders dubbing the contest “Rishi vs Baki” as the ratings showed him well ahead of his rival four leadership candidates. Now, just days later, the former chancellor has come second, with polls of party members putting rival Liz Truss 34 percentage points ahead.
Former leadership contenders Penny Mourdaunt and Tom Tugendhat have been among the key Tories backing Truss in recent days, but even the bookies could not have seen the Foreign Secretary’s latest supporter coming. Sajid Javed, a long-time political ally, mentor and “good friend” of Cink, who last night said he was backing Truss because Cink plans to move Britain towards a “higher tax, lower growth” economy. will see and risk “diminished global influence”. and power”.
So what went wrong? Javed and Sink apparently had a long history of alliance since Sink was mentored by Javed and succeeded him as chancellor in February 2020. They resigned within minutes of each other this time last month, setting off a series of cabinet resignations, and although the so-called coup was supposedly uncoordinated, it has sparked political and personal rows over the years. It was seen as the latest in a long history of bans. The two had similar backgrounds, shared passions for fiscal conservatism and Star Wars, and decided their lost faith in Boris Johnson was strong enough to get out.
But apparently it wasn’t enough for Javed to stay loyal and support his former mentor. Did he simply fall prey to Truce’s charms like so many of his peers? Was backing Truss a ploy to get him a government job? Or is there something more serious to this political tug-of-war between him and Cink?
From their humble beginnings together to the recent spat over spending, here’s how the Rishi/Sajj rift unfolded.
Thatcher’s Shared Love (and Star Wars)
Commentators have called Sink and Javid “ideological soul mates” and “political allies” who “love Star Wars more than anything”, and the pair themselves have confirmed their close relationship several times over the years.
“Huge wishes to my good friend @RishiSanke. One of the most capable ministers I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” Javed tweeted in February 2020 when Sink was appointed as the UK’s new chancellor. was announced.
The following month, Sink returned the praise, calling Javed a “good friend and mentor”. “He was actually my first boss… Sajid and I were in touch so yes, he always gave me advice,” he said, adding that the advice was “more on the personal side than on policies,” he added. said in the statement. Interview with Sky News.
“He asked me to try and make some time for my family, which I must say I haven’t been able to deliver in the last few weeks but hopefully soon.”
Javed may be 10 years Sinak’s senior but both came from relatively humble beginnings and rose to make quick fortunes in investment banking before entering politics. Born in Rochdale, Javed was the son of a bus conductor who arrived in Britain from Pakistan with £5 to his name, while Sink was born to Indian parents who had moved to Britain from East Africa. His father was a GP and his mother was a pharmacist.
But it was more than their upbringing that bound the two together. Both have long been seen as part of the Thatcherite wing of the party and fiscal conservatives who supported lower taxes and opposed Johnson’s spending tendencies. They also aligned on Covid restrictions, with both leaning towards opening up to locking down the country when the virus resurfaced last year.
On a personal level, they share a proud (and very public) love of Star Wars, with Sink calling Javed a Jedi Master and Javed tweeting that “the force is strong in young Sink” when Sink asked him to be Chancellor. Took over the post.
Exactly a year ago, Sink tweeted a picture of him in the cinema after watching The Rise of Skywalker, captioning it: “Good night with the boss – Jedi Master”.
The couple’s relationship has not been sunny and light. The first spat between Sink and Javed was in February, when Javid, the then health secretary, called for £5bn to cover the long-term cost of Covid testing. Sink disagreed – he had just signed off on an increase in National Insurance to fund more health costs, so told Javed he would have to find the money in his existing budget. Javid dropped his demand to £3bn, then £1.8bn, but walked away without a pound.
The clash was widely regarded as the pair’s first major political clash – some noted that Cink’s pupil had quickly become a master, although others argued that the debate was a classic Treasury vs Health debate rather than anything more personal. It was the case.
Perhaps those suspicions were wrong and the pair were on a collision course. Now, once again it is spending that is said to be at the core of Javed’s Truss backing, with the former health secretary warning that Sink’s economic plans will “destroy” the UK.[sleepwalk] In a high-tax, low-growth economy. He added that Sink’s refusal to cut taxes put the country at risk of becoming a “middle-income economy”, and warned that despite the lack of “risk-free options in government”, the Truss “will continue to push the status quo”. Willingness to challenge”
Challenged about his decision to back Ms Truss, he said he believed she was in the best place to reunify the party, had a better plan for the economy and would run at the next general election. I am the best candidate to defeat Labour. But he warned that whoever becomes the next prime minister faces an “unimpeachable” series of challenges when he finally steps into No 10 on September 6.
Later, on LBC, he added: “Whether it’s the economy, the cost of living or internationally, if you look at Russia and China for example. And so it’s about choosing the right leader. And we have two great credible candidates. But we have to make a choice and for me and I think for many people now the obvious choice is Liz Truss.
A backstabbing chameleon or an independent thinker doing the right thing?
For many, Javed’s attack on his former protégé came as a surprise. It was only a few weeks ago that the two were linked over their lack of support for Boris Johnson, so are there any further signs of a rift between them?
When the two men announced their entry into the leadership race last month, Javed quipped about not having the “silk video and logo ready” like Sink, which was seen as a joke at the time. was Was this indicative of a more serious political rift between them?
Critics on Twitter described Javed as a “backstabbing”, “snake” and “chameleon-like figure” who was “hanging back to see popular opinion” before casting his vote and “obviously trying to get a decent one”. Restless. Truss job in government. Only in April, he was defending Sink’s controversial planned National Insurance hike, saying it was “right” and “fair”. Will Truss at a later date Should also be wary of stabbing him in the back?
It was only last summer that commentators asked “how long will their friendship last?”, suggesting that Sink and Javed’s close working relationship would be tested in the coming months or years. As the race for a new prime minister draws to a close and another is further hurt, perhaps that test has finally arrived.