Connect with us


‘It didn’t work out well last time’: Javid warns against Johnson coronation | Politics News



Tory leadership contender Sajid Javid has said a “coronation” of Boris Johnson as the party’s next leader would be a mistake, declaring: “We had a coronation last time, it didn’t work out well.”

A reported plan for the five other candidates to pull out of the race, leaving Mr Johnson as the only name put to a final ballot of party members, has caused anger.

This would make his election as party leader and prime minister a formality – and comes after he comfortably won the first round of the contest on Thursday.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the scheme was concocted in the whips’ office as part of a bid to avoid weeks of damaging “blue on blue” attacks that could damage the party and provide political ammunition for Labour.

But a number of candidates have said this would be a grave error, pointing to the rise to power of Theresa May in 2016.

The outgoing party leader and prime minister was elected unopposed after her only remaining challenger, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out.

Mrs May’s critics argue her flaws came to the fore during the 2017 election campaign – and would have been apparent much earlier if she had been required to campaign for the votes of party members the previous year.

Mr Javid, who came fifth in the first round, warned against history repeating itself, saying: “I don’t want to see a coronation. I don’t think anyone wants to see a coronation.

“There needs to be a proper process that’s followed through.

“We had a coronation last time, it didn’t work out well.

“So let’s not make the same mistake again and let’s give the opportunity for the members to have their say.”

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, who narrowly made it through the first round of voting among MPs, echoed Mr Javid’s comments.

Tory leadership: Johnson wins first ballot

He said: “The members of the Conservative Party who are wise, sensible, experienced people, deserve to have a choice.

“We should have learned from the last time round coronations are not the way to do democratic politics.”

The pair were speaking as they arrived for a leadership hustings in London for the party grassroots.

Mr Johnson, who has been criticised for his lack of media interviews during the campaign so far, avoided journalists as his Range Rover pulled up at a side door where the event was being held.

Sajid Javid

Javid tells Sky News he is confident support is growing

The first TV debate – organised by Channel 4 – will take place on Sunday.

Mr Johnson has said he will not be taking part in this, but has said he will appear in the second debate on Tuesday.

This BBC debate will come after the second round of voting among Tory MPs, which will whittle down the field of candidates further.

Sky News is planning to host its own debate, a 90-minute show featuring the final two candidates, later in the contest.

Hancock quits race – but who will he support now?

Earlier, Dominic Raab said it was vital all candidates were thoroughly tested in the heat of debate.

The former Brexit secretary also used a Telegraph interview to contrast his background as a state school-educated son of a refugee with the “privileged” Old Etonian Mr Johnson.

“When you campaign in marginal seats, who can reach out and unite the working-class vote and the middle-class vote?” he said.

“Are we going to be in a better position to do that with a candidate who isn’t so easily caricatured as being from the privileged elite, with the son of a refugee, a grammar school boy who is offering tax cuts to most of those people on £15,000 as opposed to people on £50,000 and above?”

Speaking after the hustings, Mr Raab said he was “just getting started”.

Asked how he would stop Mr Johnson, he replied: “We should have proper scrutiny of everyone. The longer this goes on, the more the underdog gets their shot.”

The six candidates to succeed Mrs May are: Mr Johnson, Mr Javid, Mr Stewart, Mr Raab, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who gained 20 votes on Thursday, pulled out the following day.

Commons leader Mrs Leadsom, former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey and former chief whip Mark Harper fell at the first hurdle after failing to attract enough support.

If the contest goes the distance, a winner will be declared next month.

The victor is expected to take over from Mrs May in the week beginning 22 July.

:: Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab will be joining Sophy Ridge on Sunday tomorrow from 9am

Advertisement Find your dream job