15 December 2022

Sajid Javid: Odds are stacked against the Tories at next election

15 December 2022

The odds are stacked against the Tories at the next election but Rishi Sunak can turn the situation around, former Cabinet minister Sajid Javid said.

Mr Javid, who will not stand in the election, said his 12 years in Parliament had seen politics on “fast forward” with “one crisis after another”.

He added that while incumbent governments around the world had suffered as a result of the pandemic and the economic impact of the Ukraine war, it “didn’t help” that “rules were broken in Downing Street” during the coronavirus lockdown.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Javid explained his decision to stand down at the next election, due by January 2025 at the latest, saying that being an MP “does take a personal toll” both on himself and his family.

He insisted the Tories could still turn around the opinion poll deficit they face against Labour.

“If you look at the current polling, it’s obvious the odds are stacked against us,” he said.

Mr Javid, whose resignation as health secretary opened the floodgates for the wave of quitting ministers which eventually caused Boris Johnson’s downfall, said: “It didn’t help, by the way, in dealing with the pandemic that we saw the rules were broken in Downing Street.

“And people didn’t like that, and rightly they didn’t like that. And that hurt Boris Johnson, in particular, but it hurt the Government at the time.”

But there are “two years between now and the next election” and Mr Sunak “gets it” and “is the right person to take us forward”.

Mr Javid backed Liz Truss for the Tory leadership but admitted that “it was obvious right from the start, really, that she wasn’t going to be up to the job” of prime minister.

He liked her focus on economic growth and tax cuts but criticised the battles with the Bank of England, the side-lining of the Office for Budget Responsibility and the sacking of Treasury mandarin Tom Scholar.

That was before the disastrous mini-budget and “it just got worse and worse from that point”.

“It was a very bad period for our country,” he said.

The former health secretary also questioned the long-term future of the NHS under its current funding model.

“I don’t think the model of the NHS as it was set up some 70 years ago is sustainable for the future,” he said.

He suggested looking to continental European countries which are “mostly funded by the taxpayer, but they also have some different models”.

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