Sajid Javid refuses to rule out Tory pact with Brexit Party at snap election
Sajid Javid has refused to rule out an election pact with the Brexit Party after Nigel Farage said it could deliver the Tories a 100-seat majority.
The Chancellor said his party does not "need" electoral alliances, but repeatedly failed to quash the suggestion once and for all.
Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, he said he supported Boris Johnson’s plan to hold a general election, adding: “It is being forced on us because Parliament is trying to kneecap these negotiations."
Asked if he would be happy to stand alongside Mr Farage in a snap poll, Mr Javid said: "We don't need an electoral alliance with anyone.
"We can stand on our own two feet, to put our message across."
The questions came after Mr Farage offered Mr Johnson a “non-aggression pact”, which said that if they could agree on a position of leaving the EU without a deal they would be “unstoppable”.
Pressed again to rule a pact out, as the Prime Minister has done so in the past, Mr Javid said: "We are not in an election yet. I am clear we do not need an alliance with anyone."
The Chancellor was also asked about the rebel legislation to block a no-deal exit, saying: "Of course this government will obey the law.
"We are going to continue to work towards exiting on October 31. We will leave on October 31.”
But Mr Javid said that even though the law has passed the Commons and Lords, the Prime Minister "absolutely will not" ask for an extension to Article 50 at the October EU council meeting.
He added: ”We will be consistent with obeying the law but also sticking to our policy, and you will have to wait and see what happens because there are a lot of days between now and October the 19th.”
Earlier his Cabinet colleague Dominic Raab had suggested the Government would “test” the legislation before implementing it.
The Foreign Secretary told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "We're always going to behave lawfully as a Government, of course you'd expect that, and anyway it will be challenged in the courts, but what we are going to do with that legislation is test very carefully what it does and doesn't require, and that's not only the lawful thing to do, I think it's the responsible thing to do.”
But speaking on the same programme Labour’s Baroness Chakrabarti said such comments were “irresponsible and elitist”.
The Shadow Attorney-General said: “The idea there’s one law for Boris Johnson and his mates and there’s one law for everyone else, it’s appalling.”
She continued: “Every tinpot dictator on the planet throughout history has used the excuse of having the people on their side to break the law.”
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Jon Trickett, said of Mr Javid’s refusal to rule out a pact: “The Tories are refusing to rule out a grubby deal with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party because they know he supports all their cuts to public services and the sell-off of our NHS to Donald Trump.
“Farage wants to keep Boris Johnson in power so the Tories can continue to wreck our industries and our jobs as they have always done.”
The Liberal Democrats said Mr Raab’s comments show a disregard for democracy and the rule of law.
The party’s shadow Brexit secretary Tom Brake said it “just shows there is no bar for how low they will stoop”.