London: Sajid Javid, the Pakistani-origin Conservative Party member of Parliament and former leadership contender, on Friday announced that he would not be contesting the next general election in the United Kingdom, expected in 2024.
The former UK chancellor, who was also Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s former boss in the Treasury department, was among the senior MPs who precipitated Boris Johnson’s resignation in the wake of the ‘Partygate’ scandal earlier this year by becoming the first minister to resign from his Cabinet. His exit was soon followed by that of Sunak in July, triggering a period of leadership turmoil for the governing party.
In a letter to the Tory party chairman posted on Twitter, Javid said, “It was a decision I have wrestled with for some time, but one that had been accelerated due to a party deadline for candidates to decide their future plans by Monday.
“Being the local MP and serving in the government has been the privilege of my life and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve,” he added.
The MP for Bromsgrove in the West Midlands region of England also said that he has always “sought to make decisions in the national interest”, and “in line with my values, and I can only hope my best was sufficient”.
Reacting to the announcement, Sunak said he was “sad to see my good friend… stepping back from politics”.
“He’s been a proud champion of enterprise and opportunity during his time in government and on the backbenches – particularly for the people of Bromsgrove,” he tweeted.
“May the Force be with you, Saj,” the prime minister said while using a “Star Wars” reference.
Javid was first elected to the Parliament in 2010 at the start of the Tory-led coalition government and got his first job on the front bench in 2012 as economic secretary to the Treasury. Over the past 12 years, he has held some of the highest offices of state, including home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer.
He had resigned as chancellor less than three months into the job amid a row with Johnson, later returning to his Cabinet as health secretary in June last year. He also ran for the leadership of the party twice, but lost out to Johnson and then to the latter’s successor Liz Truss.
Born in Rochdale in north-west England, Javid has often spoken of his bus driver father of Pakistani-Punjabi heritage and his working class roots. Before entering politics, he had a successful career in the banking industry.