Ex-Chancellor Sajid Javid blasts Dominic Cummings’ reign of terror over advisers in scything resignation speech saying changes the powerful aide is making are ‘not in the public interest’
- Sajid Javid made resignation statement in the House of Commons this afternoon
- Ex-Chancellor launched thinly-veiled attack on Dominic Cummings’ behaviour
- Mr Javid quit after being told his team of special advisers would all be axed
Sajid Javid made a thinly-veiled attack on No10 chief Dominic Cummings’ today, saying he quit as chancellor because changes to the Treasury planned by the powerful aide were ‘not in the national interest’.
He used a speech in the Commons – in front of a watching Boris Johnson – to say that a semi-merger of behind-the-scenes teams at No10 and N011 would hamper the finance department’s ability to ‘speak truth to power’.
He declined to name Mr Cummings directly, but joked that there had been a lot of gossip already about ‘Cummings and goings’, to laughter from MPs.
The Bromsgrove MP took to his feet immediately after Boris Johnson’s PMQs session this afternoon.
The intervention came two weeks after Mr Javid dramatically quit in the reshuffle, following a brutal turf war between Mr Cummings and Treasury aides.
Mr Javid was given an ultimatum by the PM that he must accept his political advisers being ousted to stay in No11.
He told the Commons today: ‘It has always been the case that advisers advise, minsters decide and minsters decide on their advisers.
‘I couldn’t see why the Treasury, with the vital role that it plays, should be the exception to that.’
He used a speech in the Commons – in front of a watching Boris Johnson – to say that a semi-merger of behind-the-scenes teams at No10 and N011 would hamper the finance department’s ability to ‘speak truth to power’
The Bromsgrove MP took to his feet immediately after Boris Johnson ‘s PMQs session this afternoon as the Prime Minister listened on with new Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Sajid Javid (right) took a thinly-veiled swipe at Dominic Cummings (left) in his Commons resignation statement today
But he chose to walk away, insisting those terms could not be accepted by ‘any self-respecting minister’ – a direct swipe at his successor Rishi Sunak.
He also told Mr Johnson in a resignation letter that he believed it was ‘important as leaders to have trusted teams that reflect the character and integrity that you would wish to be associated with’ – a thinly-veiled attack on Mr Cummings.
Another aide to Mr Javid, Sonia Khan, was frogmarched out of Downing Street by police officers after being sacked by Mr Cummings last year.
There have been signs of disquiet among senior Tories over Mr Cummings’ influence over government, and his insistence on provoking conflict.
One told MailOnline: ‘There is going to come a point when the PM is going to have to say to him: ”You’ve gone too far”.’
They added that MPs were starting to follow ’21st century employment practices’ after a series of scandals over bullying and harassment.
By contrast Mr Cummings was able to treat people with ‘absolute and utter contempt’.
It emerged this week that the civil service is drawing up new HR rules for ministerial advisers.
The Cabinet Office is recruiting an official to help ‘establish the cross-government special adviser HR function’.
The ‘high-profile and stretching role’ – with a salary of up to £60,635 – would see the successful candidate being asked to ‘revise and embed a full suite of HR policies, processes and principles ensuring they are fit for purpose’.
It is understood an overhaul to the arrangements for political advisers has been going on for some time. No10 sources said it was a ‘routine appointment’.
Mr Cummings also swiped during a meeting of Spads before the government overhaul that he would see some of them the following week – a remark that one adviser told him was ‘unkind’.
The maverick No10 strategist has tried to implement a ban on Spads accepting drinks or meals from reporters.
Mr Cummings has launched a drive to recruit ‘misfits and weirdos’ to government, saying he wants people with off-the-wall talents to work alongside conventional officials.
He suggested last week that so-called ‘Superforecasters’ were preferable to political pundits.
Mr Javid will make his intervention after Boris Johnson (pictured in Downing Street yesterday) takes PMQs