Sajid Javid arrives at Downing Street after being appointed Culture Secretary
Sajid Javid spoke of his immense privilege at succeeding Maria Miller as Culture Secretary, becoming the first Muslim Secretary of State.
The MP for Bromsgrove is one of the Tories fastest-rising stars. He is the first of the 2010 parliamentary intake of MPs to achieve to be promoted to the cabinet and was appointed a Treasury minister only last year.
A self-made millionaire and former City banker, he is now responsible for policy on broadcasting, sport, media, tourism, telecoms, equalities and the arts.
The Margaret Thatcher devotee said he “didn’t expect to have this kind of opportunity to serve the country at this level so soon, but I take it as a huge privilege.”
Although pleased with his promotion the 44 year-old conceded it was “not in the best of circumstances to get a new job like this” given his predecessor’s resignation.He is one of a small but growing number of Tory MPs from ethnic minorities.
Along with Rehman Chishti, Javid is the first British Pakistani MP to represent the Tories. Speaking last year Javid said his childhood and experience of life in one of the poorest parts of Bristol gives him a unique insight private school-dominated Tory party.
“Because of my background and the challenges I have had and the job I have had before, I have worked with and had friends from every group of society,” he said.
“’I don’t think that’s true of all politicians, and that hopefully helps me empathise with and connect with people facing problems at any point on the social ladder, whether they’re a bus driver or an investment banker. I understand the issues and concerns they’re facing.”
Javid’s father, Abdul Ghani, a bus driver, came to the UK from Pakistan in 1961, he settled in Rochdale. Sajid, one of five boys, was brought up in Bristol and became the first member of his family to go to university studying Economics and Politics at Exeter University.
Javid tells of how his father was a Labour supporter until the “winter of discontent” of 1978/9, later becoming a supporter of Thatcher. He said: “This is the root of my conservative beliefs. My mother and father had nothing and, like many people in their adopted country, worked their way up.
“All they had to rely on was their drive and determination, a willingness to work hard, and the confidence to take risks in the hope of greater rewards.
“There were, of course, ups and downs. But whenever my parents were knocked down, in business or anything else, they picked themselves up and started again. The abiding lesson was clear to me: don’t doubt yourself and don’t stop trying.”
Similarly, inspired by what he saw as a turnaround in the country’s fortunes under the Conservatives, Javid joined the party in 1988.
After entering the City, he became, at 24, the youngest Vice-President of the Chase Manhattan Bank.
He says he was later headhunted by Deutsche Bank in London to help build its business in developing countries and that he left in 2009 to “give something back through politics”.
Javid sacrificed a vast amount financially to become an MP. He became an MP on just £65,000 a year after running Deutsche Bank’s trading operations in Asia, where he is reported by Bloomberg to have earned around £3 million a year.
His remarkable ascend to the top started in when Bromsgrove MP Julie Kirkbride stood down amid controversy over her own expenses and he was selected as Tory candidate. He won with an 11,308 majority, an increase on the previous majority of 10,080 at the 2005 general election.
Within six months he was a parliamentary assistant to Skills Minister, John Hayes, moving in October 2012 to doing the same job for Chancellor George Osborne. Javid became Economic Secretary to the Treasury in September 2012. In October last year he was promoted to Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
In January 2012, The Times newspaper included Javid in its list of the “Top 100 Global People to Watch in 2012”.
The Times predicted that, “His background in investment banking and experience working on currency devaluations, mean that Javid’s star could be the brightest of a potentially stellar 2010 Tory intake.”
Last year, Javid said that four decades after Powell railed against immigration – most famously in his Rivers of Blood speech – the Tories have been unable to connect with migrants who share the party’s traditional values of hard work. He called on David Cameron to give a major speech on the Tory approach to race relations and multiculturalism.
In an interview with the Spectator magazine, he said that when his father was congratulated by friends on his son’s election to parliament they assumed he was a Labour MP. When he asked his father why this was the case, his father replied: “I’ll sum it up for you in two words – Enoch Powell.”
Powell, who was an MP for 37 years, was sacked from the Tory frontbench for his speech in 1968 when he criticised Commonwealth immigration. Javid said the Tory party’s image had not recovered from the anti-immigration speeches made by former minister Enoch Powell.