WATCH: Sajid Javid says Boris Johnson is 'yesterday's news' in bid to be next Tory leader

Posted On: 
12th June 2019

Sajid Javid has accused Boris Johnson of being “yesterday’s news” as he launched his bid to become the next Prime Minister.

Sajid Javid launching his Tory leadership campaign.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Home Secretary launched a blistering attack on his Tory leadership rival as he branded himself the “change candidate” the Tory party and the country needs in charge.

Mr Javid said "Westminster insiders" like the former Foreign Secretary would fail to win back a new generation of voters who have deserted the Conservatives.

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And he insisted he was the only leadership hopeful with "a credible and honest plan for delivering Brexit by the end of October".

"I think I’m the change candidate,” Mr Javid said. "Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news in that he’s been around for a while. He’s achieved a lot and he’s still got a big role to play.

"But I think if we are trying to connect with the next generation and move forward as a country then I think it’s time for the next generation with a bold new agenda and what I can do in terms of the policy is I can articulate those policies."

 

 

The frontbencher, currently trailing behind Mr Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove in the race to succeed Theresa May, said that as the child of immigrants who grew up living above his parents' shop in Bristol, he has the ability to "connect with 90% of the population of our country".

In a further veiled swipe at Eton-educated Mr Johnson, Mr Javid said the next Prime Minister should not be one of the "same old insiders with the same old school ties, but a new generation with a new agenda".

Mr Javid, who earlier in the race signed a “clean campaign” pledge also took aim at “born to rule” Conservatives leadership candidates. 

He said: “The problem with much of the Westminster elite, in all parties, is that they have always been insiders, never had to fight like the rest of us just to get their foot in the door.

"Life dealt them a good hand, and they played it – and I can’t blame them for that.

"But it wasn’t being born to rule, or having connections, that got me where I am today – it was hard work, public services, and my family."

And in a further jibe at his former Cabinet colleague, he said: "I believe now more than ever that this moment, as we face challenges unlike any we have faced before, calls for a new kind of leadership with a new kind of leader.

"A leader is not just for Christmas, or just for Brexit. We can’t risk going with someone who feels like the short-term, comfort-zone choice."

Earlier, Mr Johnson had launched his own leadership campaign with a vow to keep speaking his mind even if it landed him in trouble.

The gaffe-probe former London mayor was embroiled in a row last year after claiming Muslim women wearing burkas look like "letter boxes" and "bank robbers".

But he said: "I think it is vital that we as politicians remember that one of the reasons why the public feels alienated now from us all as a breed is because we are muffling and veiling our language. We don't speak as we find and cover it up in bureaucratic language when what they want to hear is what we really think.

"And if sometimes in the course of trying to get across what I genuinely think I use phrases and language that have caused offence then of course I'm sorry for the offence I've caused but I will continue to speak as directly as I can."