Sajid Javid allies accuse Number 10 of ‘undermining’ him to force spending increase
Sajid Javid’s friends have said the Prime Minister’s team undermined him in an effort to force the Treasury into spending billions on public services and tax cuts.
In the latest escalation of tensions between the two sides, the former Chancellor’s allies slammed Number 10 for briefing against him in the weeks leading up to his resignation.
One told The Sun that Number 10 had been “undermining the Chancellor from the beginning, by briefing he is weak and pretending you’re driving policy.”
Tensions allegedly spiralled after the election, when Mr Javid’s staff pushed back on Number 10’s demands to increase public spending and resisted efforts to scrap fiscal rules.
Another ally of Mr Javid said: “No10 didn’t understand the need for them, and they didn’t then really understand what they had signed up to afterwards.
“Those conversations started to get really difficult in the last two weeks, as we explained they couldn’t do everything without putting up taxes.”
They added: “You can change the spads, you can bring in as many data scientists as you like, but in the end the numbers don’t lie.”
Friends of Mr Javid have also accused Number 10 of leaking proposals to introduce a tax on expensive homes, according to The Times.
Proposals to cut pension tax relief and the introduction of a "mansion tax" were allegedly leaked to the media only days after the Treasury outlined them to Downing Street staff.
Mr Javid was asked to stay on as Chancellor in Thursday’s reshuffle, but the Prime Minister requested he sack his staff and create a combined team with Number 10.
The former Chancellor resigned, and in a later statement said that no “self-respecting minister would accept those conditions.”
Rishi Sunak, who has replaced Mr Javid, is expected to agree with Mr Johnson’s spending priorities.
The Conservative election manifesto pledged to fund increases in public spending without increases to income tax, National Insurance or VAT, and without further borrowing.
In his resignation letter on Thursday, Mr Javid said: “As you know, the agenda we have been developing over the last seven months is one that I have long supported.
“From maintaining strong public finances, investing in infrastructure, protecting our environment, recruiting 20,000 police officers, and boosting housing and skills so the next generation can have the opportunities they deserve.
“I would urge you to ensure the Treasury as an institution retains as much credibility as possible. The team there has impressed me with the energy and intellect they have brought to delivering the shifts in policy that I have led."