Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 14 July 2020

Brexit

Not in national interest to sack my advisers, says former UK finance chief

Sajid Javid resigned after Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked him to change aides

Sajid Javid was replaced by Rishi Sunak in a cabinet reshuffle. EPA
Sajid Javid was replaced by Rishi Sunak in a cabinet reshuffle. EPA

Britain's former finance minister quit because a request from premier Boris Johnson to fire his advisers was not in the “national interest”, he told MPs on Wednesday.

Sajid Javid, in his first statement to parliament since stepping down, said the proposed changes to his team were ones he "could not accept in good conscience".

If he had accepted Mr Johnson's changes, Mr Javid would have had no control over who his aides were.

It is widely believed that the Prime Minister's influential senior adviser Dominic Cummings was behind the move.

"A Chancellor, like all cabinet ministers, has to be able to give candid advice so he is speaking truth to power," Mr Javid said.

"I believe that the arrangement proposed would significantly inhibit that and it would not have been in the national interest.

"So while I was grateful for the continued trust of the Prime Minister in wanting to reappoint me, I am afraid that these were conditions that I could not accept in good conscience," he added.

Mr Javid was succeeded by his protege Rishi Sunak.

Updated: March 10, 2020 05:13 AM

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